Jane Powers

Bedding Plants as a Function of Royal Status November 13, 2010 It was on this day that Jane Powers wrote an excellent botanical history piece for the Irish Times. I especially loved this article because Jane correlated the number of bedding plants a person ordered during the middle of the 19th century and their corresponding…

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Howard Scott Gentry

Agave Man November 13, 1982 On this day newspaper shared a great story about the author of “Agaves of Continental North America,” Howard Scott Gentry:   “This elder statesman of the botanical world [is] a first-class charmer when you get …. to his subject;…  his love for the wilds of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico, …the…

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Frederick George Lueders

The Sauk County Botanist November 13, 1843    Today is the anniversary of the day that the German botanist, Frederick Lueders, lost all of his botanical work. Frederick was botanizing along the Columbia River in Oregon. For the past three years, Frederick had collected specimens across North America. He had just encountered the explorer John…

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Walter E. Bartlett

The Happiest Man November 13, 1870   Today is the birthday of the physician, naturalist, and civic leader of the south-central Kansas town of Belle Plaine – Dr. Walter E. Bartlett. In 1910, Walter started the Bartlett Arboretum by purchasing 15 acres of land on the edge of a town called Belle Plaine – about 20…

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Mavis Batey

The Code-Breaking Gardener November 12, 2013 Today is the anniversary of the death of the World War II hero and garden historian and restorer extraordinaire Mavis Batey, who died at the age of 92. Mavis broke the German Enigma code, which allowed the Allied forces to stage their D-Day invasion. In the back half of…

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Arthur Shurcliff

The Revival Garden Master November 12, 1957 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Landscape Architect Arthur Shurcliff. After receiving his degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, Arthur discovered the field of Landscape Architecture. Although the field was beginning to take off thanks to the Olmsteds, Charles Eliot, and the Chicago World’s Fair,…

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Gilbert L. Campbell

Floral Cartoucherist November 12, 1972   On this day The Greenville News shared an article called Orchidist Finds Hobby Versatile. The orchidologist was Gilbert L. Campbell. During six years of collecting, Gilbert amassed more than 300 plants – in addition to a library of orchid reference materials. Orchid lovers can grow orchids all year long indoors in their…

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Jean-Baptiste Van Mons

The Pear King November 11, 1765 Today is the birthday of the Belgian physicist, chemist, botanist, horticulturist, and pomologist, Jean-Baptiste Van Mons. The name of the game for Jean-Baptiste was selective breeding for pears. Selective breeding happens when humans breed plants to develop particular characteristics by choosing the parent plants to make the offspring. Check…

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Elizabeth Coleman White

The Blueberry Dreamer November 11, 1954 Today is the anniversary of the death of the Queen of Blueberries, Elizabeth Coleman White. Elizabeth grew up on her dad’s Cranberry Farm in the Pine Barrens of Burlington County, New Jersey. When she was a little girl, Elizabeth would take walks to wild blueberries – you couldn’t buy…

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Dean O'Banion

Floral Cartoucherist November 10, 1924  Today is the anniversary of the death of the mobster florist and devout Catholic Dean O’Banion. Dean bootlegged beer during prohibition, and he led a group of mobsters in Chicago known as the North Side Gang. At one point, Dean was making almost a million dollars a year from selling his…

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Robert Morison

The Fruit Structure Taxonomist November 10, 1683 Today is the anniversary of the death of the 17th-century Scottish botanist Robert Morison. A contemporary of the English naturalist and writer, John Ray, Robert helped to devise the modern system of plant classification by relying mainly on the structure of a plant’s fruits for classification. After fighting…

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Henry Luke Bolley

The Quarterback Botanist November 10, 1956  Today is the anniversary of the death of the American botanist and plant pathologist responsible for eradicating crop diseases and so much more, Henry Luke Bolley. A son of Indiana, Henry was the youngest of twelve children in his family. He went to Purdue, where he was a student-athlete…

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Josiah Hoopes

The Horticulture Entreprenuer November 9, 1832   Today is the birthday of the West Chester Pennsylvania nurseryman, entrepreneur, and Quaker, Josiah Hoopes. Josiah loved nature from an early age. As a young man, Josiah had a desire to propagate and sell plants.  After his 30th birthday, Josiah built a greenhouse on his father’s property.  Within…

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Dmitri Ivanovsky

The Virus Finder November 9, 1864    Today is the birthday of the Russian Botanist Dmitri Ivanovsky. In 1892, Dmitry researched the cause of an infection called “Wildfire” in tobacco plants in Crimea. Dmitry made a startling discovery when he learned that even after running through a filter, sap from an infected plant could still…

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