Today is the birthday of the Russian botanist Edward August Von Regal.
Edward was born in Switzerland - but he lived most of his life in Russia.
Edward worked in a number of botanical gardens, including gardens in Germany and Switzerland.
In 1852, Edward founded a magazine called Garten Flora, where he described new plant species.
Three years later, in 1855, Edward moved to St. Petersburg, where he oversaw the imperial botanical garden. Edward was a very hands-on botanist. When he went to St. Petersburg, he immediately addressed the setup and the level of excellence. He changed how all the plants were arranged and rebuilt the greenhouses (most of which were heated by hot water). Edward loved to arrange plants in groups based on geography. For instance, he would have an area for plants of St. Petersburg, and an area for the plants of Siberia, and an area for the plants of North America, and so on.
While in St. Petersburg, Edward also started a Russian gardening society, as well as several botanical journals.
And if you're a fan of Curtis's botanical magazine, which was started by William Curtis (who was employed at Kew), you'll appreciate knowing that volume 111 is dedicated to Edward August van Regal.