Mary Elizabeth Parsons


John Muir



our book, but I have endeavored on the enclosed piece of paper to show as nearly as I can the size and color of our flower from memory. I have read over the descriptions of Erigeron caespitosus and E. [salsuginosus?] - and am sure ours is the latter. the botanists of the Academy also determine it as such. In reading over the descrition of caespitosus which I enclose - it does not seem possible it could


Dear Mr Muir

I thank you very much for your kind letter and encouraging words about our book on the wild flowers. I should have written before but have been trying to secure a specimen of the Arctic daisy (as we supposed it) to send you. But I can get only a poor dried up thing which gives no conception of its beauty. I am not the artist of



have been possessed of the beauty you ascribe to your Arctic Daisy. It is such a small flower - the rays only 3 or 4 lines long - and white. The waiters at Deer Park Inn this last August assured us ours was the Arctic Daisy - and one of them has travelled up and down the mountains from Alaska southward, a long range, and says he has found it all up and down - Now, dear Mr. Muir, I do not wish to dispute your letter in any way, I only wish to be very sure of my ground before printing the name in print. This lovely flower of ours grew on a stem (usually only one head on a stem) a foot to twenty inches high. - We found it starring those high plushy, green meadows - 7000 to 8000 ft above the sea. I enclose a piece of paper with characters of both


much to hear your further opinion upon the matter. Do you still think your Arctic Daisy Erigeron caespitosus? There ought to be some common name for ours it is such a charming flower - Could you not suggest one? Thanking you for your patient attention in this matter and hoping to hear from you,

I am,


from Gray's Synoptical flora - Are you not familiar with this daisy of ours too? The beautiful Erigeron Coulteri - of about the same size with many pure white and narrower rays (I enclose one) grows in meadows at a lesser altitude - say 6000 ft. covering the meadows with its exquisite flowers. If not troubling you too much I should like


Gratefully and Sincerely

Mary Elizabeth Parsons.

San Rafael Nov 21st.


San Rafael, [Calif.]

Circa Date

[190] Nov 21


Original letter dimensions: 20 x 24.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 11, Image 0449

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


4 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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