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“M” is for Michaux, André

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  “M” is for Michaux, André [1746-1802 and François-André Michaux [1770-1855]. Botanists. In 1785 Michaux was commissioned as royal botanist with the mission to find useful plants for France in America. 

  He made Charleston his base of operations. The Carolina mountains were among his favorite area. In all, he was the authority for 188 species native to the Carolinas. Trapped in Charleston by the French Revolution, he opened a botanical garden where he introduced foreign plant to America: including, the camellia and gingko tree from China, the mimosa from Persia, and the crape myrtle from India. André Michaux died in 1802 while on an expedition to the South Pacific. As a young man François-André Michaux accompanied his father on expeditions, but after 1806 spent much of the rest of his life in France.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.