John Torrey

The Calendar

 Today is the birthday of the American botanist John Torrey.
John was the first American botanist to study the flora of New York State.
And, the area John botanized included what is now Greenwich Village, the area of the Elgin Botanic Garden ("el-GG-IN"), which is now Rockefeller Center, and Bloomingdale, which is now the upper side west side of Manhattan - as well as Hoboken New Jersey.
One of the things we remember most about John is his Calendarian, which was a phenological record where he documented his plants; he recorded the species, location, and date of first bloom. It was kind of like a baby book for his plants.
Historically speaking, farmers often kept similar records to track planting seasons and growing cycles.
And Thomas Jefferson did the same thing as John in a book he called The Calendar.
The New York botanic garden has digitized this manuscript so you can check it out when you get a chance. 
And, here's some fun John Torrey trivia: The mountain known as Torrey's Peak in Colorado is named for John Torrey.

This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
John Torrey
John Torrey

Leave a Comment