Tree Collector: The Life and... Explorations of David Douglas.
David Douglas was one of the most important botanical collectors
there has ever been. Thanks to his heroic and often unimaginably
arduous explorations, during which he collected and discovered
over 200 species, our forests and gardens are immeasurably richer.
Not only is the Douglas fir named after him, but also many of
our most established conifers, like the Sitka spruce, Grand
and Noble firs and the Monterey pine were introduced to Britain
by him. Modern-day suburban gardens would be without the flowering
currant, lupin, penstemon, alpines, lilies and primroses had
Douglas not travelled so widely. He grew up on the Scone Estate
near Perth, studied at the Botanical Gardens in Glasgow under
William Hooker, the greatest botanist of the nineteenth century,
and then made his name through his remarkable excursions to
western Canada - once walking nearly 10,000 miles between the
Pacific coast and Hudson Bay. His premature death at just 35
was in keeping with the rest of his life, falling into a wild-animal
trap in Hawaii.
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