The scientific expeditions to the New World began during the sixteenth century. Conquerors, priests, and travelers brought their fascinating stories about American nature, amazed with what they observed there, little by little natural products from America were incorporated along Europe, starting with food and medicine.
The discovery in Madrid of an ancient manuscript wrote by Felipe II´s physician was the beginning of the adventure of the botanist and Spanish doctor Martín Sessé. In 1787, under Carlos III command and commissioned by the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid, begins one of the most important expeditions of the time, in order to expand scientific knowledge about the flora and fauna of these distant regions.
Martin Sessé's Journey
The traveled territory embraced 4 million square kilometers, from Alta California to Oaxaca on the mainland; It also included the islands of Barlovento, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The adventure lasted, between trips and studies, 15 years, included adventured throughout.
Martin Sessé´s legacy
During this trip were established the Botanical Garden of Mexico and the Chair of botany, in addition to a fundamental work that cataloged 3,500 plants for the herbarium, 2,500 unknown in Europe, and about 200 new genders. Martín Sessé and Mociño herbariums can be found today in Madrid, Geneva, Florence, London, Paris and Washington.