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.

Kevin Walek was the Registrar for the Genus, Hosta from 2005 to 2015. He lives in Virginia and has been active in hybridizing hostas for many years. Kevin was the President of The American Hosta Society from 2003 to 2005 and was awarded the Alex J. Summers Distinguished Merit Award in 2005. He has also served as the Registrar for the Genus, Hemerocallis (Daylilies) and was President of the American Hemerocallis Society.

Austrian botanist and author. The specific epithet, Waldsteinia, aka Barren Strawberry, was named for him.

Garden designer in the style of Gertrude Jekyll who was born in Devon, England. S
he accompanied her family first to New Zealand then on to  settle in Australia. In the 1920s she developed a village with 'English' gardens at Mooroolbark, Australia.

She wrote for Australian Home Beautiful and the books Gardens in Australia (1943), Cottage and Garden (1947) and A Gardener's Log (1948).

Frank Kingdon Ward traveled widely in the Himalayas as a plant explorer for a period spanning 45 years. During that time, he published several readable accounts of his experiences included The Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges and The Romance of Plant Hunting.

During his trips to Tibet, Burma (Myanmar) and China, Kingdon collected unusual plants from several genera including Primula, Lilium, Rhododendron and Gentiana which he brought back to England. He studied the distribution of the Meconopsis aka Himalayan Blue Poppy, during his time in Tibet.

Plants he collected included Meconopsis bentonicifolia, Cotoneaster conspicuus, Cotoneaster sternianus, Cotoneaster wardii, Primula alpicola, Primula burmanica and Rhododendron wardii.

First President of United States for whom the genus, Washingtonia (a genus of palm trees) was named.

Plants named for his home, Mount Vernon, include Picea orientalis 'Mount Vernon' and Prunus laurocerasus 'Mount Vernon'.

German physician and botanist for whom the genus of ornamental shrubs, Weigela, was named. He was a professor of Chemistry, Pharmacy, Botany, and Mineralogy at the University of Greifswald.

Host of PBS' The Victory Garden television program for five years starting in 2002 and ending in 2007. He owns a landscape design firm.

Miss Willmott is known for her garden at Warley Place in Essex, England, part of which became a reserve for the Essex Naturalists' Trust in 1978, though little of her garden remains. She became renowned for her knowledge of plants, her patronage of plant hunters (notably Ernest Wilson), the book she published on roses and her prickly temperament. Her habit of scattering seeds of Eryngium aka 'Miss Wilmott's ghost' in friend's gardens didn't endear her to those who didn't especially fancy sea holly! She developed the garden at Boccanegra on the Italian Riviera.

The specific epithets of warleyensis and willmottianum are named for her. Plants associated with these names include: Iris warleyensis, Campanula 'Warleyensis', Epimedium warleyensis 'Ellen Willmott', Rosa warleyensis, Lysionotus warleyensis, Corylopsis warleyensis, Ceratostigma willmotti, and Potentilla nepalensis ‘Miss Willmott’

One of the most famous plant hunters, Wilson collected in Asia for Harry Veitch's nursery and others including the Arnold Arboretum between 1906 and 1919. He served as the Director at Arnold until his death in a car accident in 1930.

Wilson was a renowned explorer and is credited with "discovering" between 3,000 and 5,000 species during his many trips to China.

Among the new plants he introduced to Europe is the easily grown and popular Lilium regale. Other introductions include the Acer griseum (paperbark maple), Davidia involucrata (The 'Handkerchief Tree'), Kolkwitzia amabilis, Cornus controversa (the giant dogwood) and Magnolia wilsonii.

Plants bearing his name include Acer wilsonii, Corydalis wilsonii, Exochorda giraldii var. wilsonii, Gentiana wilsonii, Hypericum wilsonii, Magnolia wilsonii, Primula wilsonii, Syzygium wilsonii and Trachelospermum jasminoides 'Wilsonii'.

Jim Wilson appeared for 10 years as co-host of the PBS' television series, The Victory Garden and as host of HGTV's Great Gardener series. He worked in the horticulture industry for over 50 years and was a well-known author.

Among his published works are: Landscaping with Wildflowers, Landscaping with Herbs, South Carolina Gardeners Guide, Bulletproof Flowers for the South, and Jim Wilson's Container Gardening. Jim was past president of the Garden Writers Association of America, a member of its hall of fame, and spokesperson for its Plant a Row for the Hungry program.

English Queen Anne's master gardener and the last of British 'Formalists', Henry Wise was superintendent of the royal gardens at the recently restored King's Privy Garden for William III at Hampton Court Palace. These gardens were recorded in the panoramic painting by Leonard Knyff.

In partnership with George London, Henry Wise is associated with aspects of the design of gardens at Studley Royal, Castle Howard and Newby Hall in Yorkshire and at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire and Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

The genus, Wisteria (spelled with an e for some reason) was named after this professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania by the plant explorer, Thomas Nuttall in 1818.


Dr John Casper Wister (1887-1982) was a graduate of Harvard’s School of Landscape Architecture in 1909. He was a professor at Swarthmore College for 50 years. He also became director of the John J. Tyler Arboretum in Lima, PA while continuing his research on hybrids of ornamental plants and flowers at Swarthmore.

Dr Wister and his wife were among the founders of The American Hosta Society which held its first meeting at Swarthmore in 1968. He was also a member and officer in the American Rose Society, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the John Bartram Association and was a founder and President of the American Iris Society.

Among the awards Dr Wister recieved was the Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal, the A.P. Saunders Memorial Award from the American Peony Society, the Garden Medal from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Royal Horticultural Society dedicated its Daffodil and Tulip Yearbook to him in 1966. The Wister Medal of the American Iris Society is named in his honor.

Wyman served as Horticulturist of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts from 1935-1970. He was instrumental in introducing many new species to the arboretum as well as to the United States in general. He earned a B.A. from Penn State and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Wyman was the editor of the publication, ‘Arnoldia’ and wrote several books including Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens, Trees for American Gardens, and Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia. He also served as president, director, and trustee of the American Horticultural Society and trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

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