Botanist. A native of Maine, Plummer attended the Female College of Worcester, Massachusetts before moving to New York, where she would be a teacher for a couple of years and serve as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War. In 1869, she moved to California and settled in Santa Barbara, where, in 1871, she founded the town's first library. In 1876 she met self-taught botanist John Gill Lemmon, who would influence her to also pursue a life in botany. Married in 1880, the couple would travel together and discover numerous previously unknown species of plants. In 1881, Mt. Lemmon outside of Tucson, Arizona, was named in her honor after she became the first woman to climb it. In 1888 she was appointed an artist for the California State Board of Forestry along with her husband, who had been appointed a botanist, posts they held until 1892. In the 1890s she became the main driving force behind the movement calling for California to adopt the Golden Poppy as the state flower, which she was ultimately successful in doing when Gov. George Pardee signed the bill in 1903.
Bio by: G.Photographer
John Gill Lemmon
Partners in botany; the California poppy was named the state flower in 1903 due to the persistent efforts of Sara Lemmon
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