River Curves
Who Killed Cricket Coogler?

Wislizenus Cottonwood

What a character Wislizenus must have been - explorer, physician, and botanist. He’s the cottonwood's namesake. A02235E4-7FEF-4B83-B404-3C98A887CA52

Frederich Adolphus Wislizenus (1810-1889) was a German emigrant involved in several political causes, uprisings, and adventures. Among these were his expeditions to the American West. 

He studied medicine at four universities in Europe before arriving in New York in 1834. Then he moved to St. Louis to practice medicine a few years later.

He joined a fur trading expedition in 1839 and on that trip crossed the Rocky Mountains. On his return he joined a band of Flathead and Nez Perce. He wrote an account published in German in 1840.

Back in St. Louis he partnered with fellow physician and botanist George Engelmann who encouraged him to continue exploring and collecting. With his support Wislezenus began another trip in 1846 -  a merchant expedition to Santa Fe and Chihuahua.

On this adventure he was detained for six months after the war with Mexico began. He spent the time in the Sierra Madres observing, and collecting plants. His next report, Memoir of a Tour to Northern Mexico (1848) was about that trip but I haven't got a copy.

I imagine that's when he first met our tree. The populus deltoides wislizenii.



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