Judith Sumner is a botanist who specializes in ethnobotany, flowering plants, plant adaptations, and garden history. She has taught extensively both at the college level and at botanical gardens, including the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Garden in the Woods. She studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and at the British Museum (Natural History) and did extensive field work in the Pacific region on the genus Pittosporum, including monographs in several publications. Her other projects and areas of interest have included field studies in the Great Smoky Mountains, work with AID/Santo Domingo on developing petroleum-rich plants, and a commitment to science education.
Judith has been the lecturer-in-residence at the Star Island Natural History Conference, and she has been a guest on the Martha Stewart Living television show, the PBS program “Cultivating Life” with Sean Conway, and various other PBS and educational programs. Her column “The Gardener’s Kitchen” (under the pseudonym Laura Craig) appeared in Horticulture magazine for several years.
In 2007, Judith was awarded the Gertrude B. Foster Award for Excellence in Herbal Literature by the Herb Society of America. Her book American Household Botany won the American Horticultural Sociey Book Award in 2005. Judith is a frequent invited lecturer for botanical and horticultural organizations and symposia, and will be speaking on herbalism and botany at the regional meeting of the Herb Society of America this summer.