Comments from Mr. PGC: Throughout history, many people have made lasting contributions to the world of plants. In these pages, we hope to pay tribute to some of them. Our concentration will be primarily on those who have introduced plants to the gardening world, those who have helped spread the word about gardening and those who have made significant contributions to landscaping and landscaping design around the world.

This list will be constantly growing as we add new names. If you have someone who you think should be on the list, please send us an Email.

Sachs was a Professor of Botany at Wurzburg in Northern Germany who is credited with transforming the study of plant physiology. Some say he was possibly the greatest of all early plant experimenters. He was the founder of the experimental approach to plant physiology as well as the inventor of devices for quantitative analysis of plant processes.

English poet, novelist and journalist who from 1930, with her husband Sir Harold Nicolson, transformed the neglected garden and buildings at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent.

She was daughter of the 3rd Baron Sackville, owner of the Knole estate, once the largest house in England.

Plants associated with her name include Populus balsamifera 'Vita Sackville-West'.

He was the founder (1872) and director of the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University near Boston, Massachusetts for over 50 years. A plant explorer, Sargent first identified Malus toringo subsp. sargentii and Prunus sargentii on trips to Asia.

Plants named in his honor include Cedrus libani 'Sargentii', Viburnum sargentii , Chaenomeles japonica 'Sargentii', Juniperus sargentii, Magnolia sargentiana, Malus sargentii, Prunus sargentii, Quercus x sargentii, Rhododendron 'Mrs. Charles S. Sargent', Spiraea sargentiana and Viburnum sargentii.







Some people call Dr. Alex Shigo the "Father of Modern Arboriculture." He has spent his career studying, dissecting, lecturing and writing about trees. He has a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of West Virginia and started work with the U.S. Forestry Service in the early 1950's. He eventually became the organizations chief scientist and lectured extensively around the world.

His books include "A New Tree Biology", "Modern Arboriculture", "Tree Pruning", and "100 Tree Myths."

A Bavarian who went to Japan in 1823 as a medical doctor at the Dutch trading post of Deshima, von Siebold became one of the great plant explorers. With Zuccarini, von Siebold published the book, Flora Japonica, in 1833. He documented his collections at the Leiden Botanic Garden in Holland, where a Japanese Garden in his memory may be found.

Two hosta species have been named for von Siebold including Hosta sieboldiana and H. sieboldii.

Plants introduced or named for von Siebold include:



A Swede from the University of Uppsala and a pupil of Linnaeus, Solander accompanied Sir Joseph Banks on Captain James Cook's first expedition in the Endeavour (1768-71). He and Banks were the first plant people to land in Australia which lead to the name Botany Bay for the body of water along the shoreline where they landed.

Note: As a fan of the British television detective series, Inspector Morse, I could not pass up the opportunity to relate that his given name was, "Endeavor" after Captain Cook's ship. Mr. PGC

A Zen priest and probably the most important figure in Japanese medieval garden design. His work marked a watershed between the traditional and Pure-Land forms of gardens and the later gardens that developed under the influence of Zen and the tea ceremony. His gardens include the pond and waterfall at Tentyuji (Kyoto), the small garden at Toji-in (Kyoto) and the moss gardens at Saiho-ji (Kyoto).

French horticulturist and writer who was once a cavalry officer in the service of Napoleon. The specific epithet, soulangiana, was named for him.  In about 1820, he hybridized the saucer magnolia, Magnolia x soulangiana.

This French botanist and plant explorer was a colleague of the botanist, Father Jean Marie Delavay. He collected hundreds of new plants to send back to Europe but eventually was taken prisoner in Tibet, tortured and shot to death.

Plants he is credited with introducing to Europe include Buddleja davidii, Cynoglossum amabile, Rhododendron tatsiense. Aster souliei, Rhododendron souliei and Primula souliei are named in his honor.

German nurseryman working in Vomero, Italy near Naples.

The specific epithet, sprengeri was named for him. Common plants with that name include Tulipa sprengeri, Magnolia sprengeri and Malus x zumi 'Professor Sprenger'.

Richard Spruce was born at Ganthorpe in North Yorkshire, England in 1817. When he was 19 he published A List of Flora of the Malton District naming 485 species. In his early twenties he was invited to go to the Pyrenees in Spain to study plant life. He returned with a specimen of every known plant growing there and 73 which had never been found there before, 17 of which were unknown.

In 1848 he went to the Amazon River basin in Brazil and spent 15 years collecting flowers, plants and mosses. The hardship he suffered in the jungle nearly killed him. He listed over 700 species, collecting 500 of them himself of which 400 were new to botanists.

He eventually returned to his native countryside and died at Coneysthorpe, North Yorkshire, in 1893. His grave lies in the village churchyard at Terrington.

Note: We are not sure if the common name for members of the genus, Picea i.e. Spruce, has anything to do with Richard Spruce.

He was an influential landscape architect based in New York City, but he dealt with design for suburban residential gardens in his first book Design for the Small Garden, as well as in several subsequent books. He was especially well known for his criticism of the ubiquitous front lawn in American home landscapes and was a proponent of creating privacy in the garden.

One of his most famous landscapes, Naumkeag in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, incorporated his use of various levels in the garden and ways to use the garden as an outdoor living space. With the decreasing need during this century for the functional elements of the garden (vegetable and fruit gardens and utility buildings, for instance) during a period of increasing consumerism, he described the garden as an extension of the house, a "machine for living in."

He was a German botanist who explored remote parts of Russia in the 1730s.

Plants associated with him include Stellera, Artemisia stelleriana and Allium stellerianum.

Plantsman, author and creator of the garden at Highdown near Worthing, Sussex, England. The specific epithets, sternianus and sternii, are named for  him.

English botanical author for whom the genus, Stokesia, was named.

He was the Third Earl of Bute and one time British Prime Minister. Stuart was active in developing the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Although spelled differently, the genus, Stewartia, was named for him.

Known as "The Man in the Red Suspenders," Roger was the host of "The Victory Garden" on PBS for 15 years through the 1990's until 2001. He then became co-host of HGTV's People, Places & Plants.

He was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard University. In 1977, he earned a Ph.D., in entomology before becoming science editor of Horticulture magazine in 1978 through 2008. He has authored several books including: Earthly Pleasures, Field Days, The Practical Gardener, Saving Graces, and Groundwork.

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