The Off-The-Cuff Botanist
April 16, 1886
Today is the birthday of the botanist Sir Edward Salisbury.
Edward was the youngest of nine children.
Edward's passion for plants started as a child. On his outings, Edward would collect flowers to grow in his own patch at home.
Get this: Edward attached a label to each one, giving its Latin name. And Edward's brothers called his garden ‘The Graveyard.’ Typical brothers...
One of the leading British botanists of the twentieth century, Edward, was Kew's director during the Second World War. Edward was not simply an expert on plants themselves, and he was supremely interested in their natural habitat.
Edward wrote many books - my favorite of all of his books is Weeds & Aliens. In his book, Edward went for a walk in the countryside. When he got home, Edward discovered that the cuffs of his wool trousers were full of seeds. Edward decided to try to grow them and was astounded to discover that he could grow more than 300 plants,
“comprising over 20 different species of weeds."
It was Sir Edward Salisbury who said,
“The double lily was and is a crime against God and man."
Edward lived to be 92.