It's the anniversary of the death of John Goldie,who died on this day in 1886.
Goldie was a Scottish-born botanist and author. He led an extraordinary life.
He started as an apprentice at the Glasgow Botanic Garden. As a young man, another botanist bumped him off what was to be his first plant exploration. However, the botanical gods were smiling on him. The expedition was doomed when most of the party died from coast fever along the Congo River.
Two years later, William Hooker encouraged Goldie to travel to North America. He started in Montreal and made his way down the Hudson River to New York. He wrote that he carried as many botanical specimens "as his back would carry."
Goldie returned to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, and for five years, he trained an eager young apprentice, and fellow Scottsman named David Douglas. When Douglas met an early death, Goldie planted a Douglas-Fir next to his house to remember his young friend.
After Goldie discovered the giant wood fern, Hooker called it Dryopteris goldieana in his honor, and it earned the name Goldie's woodfern.
Goldie worked tirelessly, and he recorded a total of fourteen plant species previously unknown to science.