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Frederick Wilson Popenoe (March 9, 1892 – June 20, 1975) son of Marion Bowman Popenoe and Fred Oliver Popenoe and brother of Paul Popenoe, was a graduate of Pomona College and a United States Department of Agriculture employee and plant explorer. From 1916 to 1924 Popenoe explored Latin America to look for new strains of avocados. He reported his adventures to the National Geographic Society. He went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1913 and became the chief agronomist of the United Fruit Company in 1925.[1][2]

Frederick Wilson Popenoe
Born(1892-03-09)March 9, 1892
DiedJune 20, 1975 (1975-06-21) (aged 83)
Occupationbotanist, agronomist

While working for the United Fruit Company, he became the first director of the Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano in Honduras. Popenoe won numerous awards an received three honorary doctorates, from: Universidad Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru; Pomona College; and the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.[3][4]

He was married to the British archeologist Dorothy Popenoe, who was involved in excavation of the Playa de los Muertos in Honduras. The standard author abbreviation Popenoe is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[5]


  1. ^ Belasco, Warren and Philip Scranton (2006). Food Nations: Selling Taste in Consumer Societies. Routledge. pp. 136–137. ISBN 0-415-93077-4.
  2. ^ Rosengarten Jr., Frederick (Jul 1992). "Wilson, Popenoe - agricultural explorer, educator, and friend of Latin America". Agricultural History. 66 (3): 105.
  3. ^ "Wilson Popenoe (1892-1975)". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Dr. Wilson Popenoe Death Reported". Star-News (Pasadena, California) (A-8). June 24, 1975.
  5. ^ IPNI.  Popenoe.

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