Mexía, Ynés, 1870-1938

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.

Biographical History

Ynés Enriquetta Julietta Mexía (1870-1938) was born on May 24, 1870, in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. She lived in Texas, Philadelphia, and Mexico City before she moved to San Francisco in 1908, where she became involved in local social work. Mexía spent much of her career as an independent researcher working for academic institutions such as Stanford University and the University of California. She attended the University of California intermittently as a special student from 1921 through 1938, though she did not earn a degree. There, she developed an enthusiasm for botany. In 1925, Mexía began a series of expeditions to remote locations in South and Central America and Alaska. She financed her expeditions through the sale of collected specimens. Mexía collected over 150,000 specimens and more than 500 species of plants. Many of the plants that she found were named in her honor. She died on July 12, 1938, in Berkeley, California.


  • Library of Congress. NACO. Control Number: no 97023190
  • Mexia, Ynes Enriquetta Julietta (1870-1938). JSTOR Plant Science. Retrieved March 2012 from
  • Sterling, K. B., Harmond, R. P., Cevasco, G. A., & Hammond, L. F. (1997). Biographical dictionary of American and Canadian naturalists and environmentalists. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved from,%20ynes&f=false

Birth Date


Death Date



  • Botany
  • Social workers


Personal name


  • Botanists
  • Social workers