Mary Treat

By Laura Briscoe

Feb 7 2019

Those who have read Barbara Kingsolver's newest novel, Unsheltered, will be familiar with the plant hunter Mary Treat. She was a skilled naturalist who was fascinated by both plants and insects, and these interests converged in carnivorous plants. Mary corresponded directly with Charles Darwin, sharing her observations around these plants, observations that Darwin directly mentions in his book Insectivorous Plants. We have not yet discovered any carnivorous plant specimens collected by Mary at NY, but we do hold at least three of her other collections.