University of Rochester

Alumni Gazette

Have Plant, Will Travel

Carol Gracie ’63 Turk’s cap lily
FLOWER POWER: Gracie combines her love of botany and photography to capture flora on film, like the colorful Turk’s cap lily (right). (Gracie photo: Courtesy Maureen Koehl; lily photo: Courtesy Carol Gracie)

As a botanist and photographer, Carol Gracie ’63 has traveled all over the world to get shots of exotic plants. Now that she’s a grandmother, Gracie says, she no longer sleeps in a hammock in the Amazon rainforest, dodging poisonous snakes and overly large insects, but she continues to capture beautiful flowers and plants on film.

Her latest book, with Steven Clemants, is Wildflowers of the Field and Forest, a comprehensive field guide published earlier this year. “We’ve included 1,445 species—not every species in the Northeast, but more than any other similar field guide,” she says. Gracie heads back to the rainforest for her next book, a layman’s guide to flowers of the Amazon.

“Just 200 to 300 species this time,” she promises. “Wherever there are plants, I will go.”