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.

Best known for his Taylorís Garden Encyclopedia which was originally published in the mid-1930ís, he was the botanical editor for Websterís New International Dictionary (ca 1945) and the American Heritage Dictionary (ca 1960). Taylor was born in Hereford, England in 1883 and came to America in 1889.

As a museum assistant at the New York Botanical Garden, he accompanied various plant collectors on expeditions around the world. During the beginning years of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Taylor was Curator of Plants and helped lay out the grounds of the facility. During this time, he was named editor of the Journal of the International Garden Club. His publisher, Houghton-Mifflin, continues to issue a series of books under the name Taylorís Guides.

  • Theophrastus (371-ca 287 BC)

    He was a student of Aristotle in ancient Greece and is often considered the father of botany. He traveled extensively through Asia Minor collecting and describing plants.

    Velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti, is named in his honor.

Thomas was a gardener, botanist, author and illustrator as well as a noted nurseryman in Berkshire and Hampshire, England. He was a long time garden advisor to the National Trust which operates many of the great, historical gardens in the U.K.

Plants associated with his name include Lonicera periclymenum 'Graham Thomas', Rhododendron 'Graham Thomas', and Eryngium bourgattii Graham Stuart Thomas's selection.

Former host of "The Victory Garden" on public television for 12 years from 1979 to 1991. Died at the age of 74 of the affects of Alzheimer's disease on October 2, 2003.

He and his wife Betty ran Thomson's Nursery and Garden Center in Danvers, Massachusetts from 1954 to 1988. Thomson wrote a garden column for the Boston Herald and was a well-known gardening radio personality for three decades before he was tapped to host "The Victory Garden," television show. Bob hosted the show on WGBH in Boston for 12 years, taking over for the original host, James Crockett.

A student of Linnaeus, Thunberg was a medical doctor, botanist and plant explorer traveling with the Dutch East India Company. In addition to Japan, he explored parts of Africa and other regions of Asia for new plants to bring back to Europe. Later in life, he was a professor at the University of Upsala succeeding Linnaeus.

He wrote the classic book on Japanese plants, "Flora Japonica" which was published in 1784. Thunberg is credited with introducing Rosa rugosa from Japan to Europe.

Thunberg visited Japan in 1775 and sent herbarium specimens back to Sweden which included some of the first Hosta plants such as H. 'Lancifolia' and H. 'Undulata'.

Plants associated with his name include the genus, Thunbergia, and species such as:

  • Allium thunbergii
  • Astilbe thunbergii
  • Berberis thunbergii
  • Fritillaria thunbergii
  • Hemerocallis thunbergii


American botanist whose name is associated with the genus, Torreya, which a genus including about six species. The California nutmeg, Torreya californica, is named for him.


The Tradescants were from East Anglia, England although they were of Dutch origin. The father's name is chiefly associated with the village of Hatfield, and he ventured abroad to buy fruit trees. His name is particularly connected with Tradescant's Cherry which is shown in the collection of paintings of fruits known as 'Tradescant's Orchard', located in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

The father and son are both honored by the specific epithet of  tradescantii and the genus, Tradescantia (Spiderwort). Plants with this in their name include: Symphyotrichum tradescantii, Aster tradescantii, Tradescantia ohiensis, Tradescantia virginiana, Tradescantia fluminensis, Tradescantia x andersoniana, and Tradescantia paludosa.

Plants that they introduced into Europe include Pistacia terebinthus (turpentine tree), Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree), Acer rubrum (red maple) and Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress).

In 1812, the Austrian botanist and artist, Trattinick, named the genus, Hosta, in honor of his countryman and botanist, Nicholas Thomas Host.

 

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