After 250 years the exploits of French plant hunter Jeanne Baret are being recognised by naming a nightshade in her honourJeanne Baret was an intrepid 18th-century French explorer who is only now receiving long-overdue recognition. She served as assistant to ship's botanist Philibert Commerson on the circumnavigation voyage of the Etoile when it set sail in 1766 under the command of Louis Antoine de Bougainville. In the course of collecting with Commerson more than 6,000 plant specimens, now housed in the French national herbarium of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris, Baret became the first woman to circle the globe.So why have you probably not heard of her before now? Because women were prohibited from even being aboard vessels under French naval regulations. In a ruse worthy of a great adventure novel, Baret dressed as a young man and volunteered to be assistant to Commerson, her lover, who conveniently...
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