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By a Stream in Vermont, a Glimpse of a Plant Last Seen a Century Ago

June 13, 2024 by Kent McFarland

False Mermaid-weed (Floerkea proserpinacoides) found in Vermont. Photo by Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

For those who rarely search for anything beyond a misplaced set of keys or a cellphone, the life of a botanist might look impossibly poetic: combing through fields of wildflowers or perusing mossy riverbanks in search of elusive plants with names like handsome sedge and rough false pennyroyal.

The whimsical image fit when the state of Vermont announced last month that a plant thought to be locally extinct — False Mermaid-weed — had be

en found through a chain of events that seemed stolen from a fairy tale.

Read this incredible story at the New York Times.