The strange case of Nils Lilja & the fuchsia

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Nils Hansson Lilja, the colorful and decidedly eccentric Swedish intellectual, writer, poet, watchmaker, newspaper publisher, gardener, horticulturalist, and botanist, was born on October 17, 1808 at Blinkarp, Röstånga, in the province of Scania. His early education was at Malmö where….➤ Read More

It's spelled f-u-c-h-s-i-a

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Fuchsia is often misspelled in English due to the odd pronunciation it’s been given. In fact, I’ve collected almost twenty variants. Spelling bee contestants especially, beware! I have the theory that the English pronunciation….➤ Read More

Georg Forster & Skinnera excorticata

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German naturalist Georg Forster was born today in 1754. Along with his father, Johann Reinhold Forster, the young Forster accompanied James Cook on his second voyage of discovery in the Pacific. At Queen Charlotte Sound in New Zealand….➤ Read More

William Botting Hemsley

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British botanist William Botting Hemsley was born on this day, December 29, 1843, in the village of East Hoathley with Halland, East Sussex. Hemsley spent most of his professional career at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew….➤ Read More

Catching up with the Leach

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I haven't been to the Leach Botanical Garden in Portland for a while since almost half of the grounds have been under renovation for the last couple of years. With the end in sight for Fall 2020, I decided to check out the progress last Sunday. I'm happy to report….➤ Read More

Édouard André. Horticulturalist. Andean adventurer

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Édouard André (1840-1911) was a noted French horticulturalist and one of the most prominent and celebrated European landscape designers of the second half of the 19th Century. Born in Bourges into a modest family of nurserymen, he received his early training and invaluable gardening experience….➤ Read More

Alice Eastwood. Earthquakes and fuchsias

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What do the great earthquake of San Francisco and fuchsias have in common? Why Alice Eastwood, of course. In case you somehow don’t already know her, you should! Eastwood was the pioneering botanist who spent the whole of her long career at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco…➤ Read More

The legendary Elgin Botanic Garden

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There are quite a number of public gardens and other worthwhile parks—big, small, and tiny even—in the greater New York area. Of course, not all of these gems are dedicated just to the fuchsia… but they're still thoroughly interesting for the visit…➤ Read More

Gregor Mendel and his fuchsias

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The future Father of Genetics was born into a poor, but stolid old family of Moravian German famers on July 20, 1822. At Heizendorf bei Odrau in Moravian Silesia. At the time the little farming village was part of the vast and unwieldy Austro-Hungarian Empire but the tides of history have since…➤ Read More

Charles Darwin and the fuchsia

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Everybody knows Darwin. The man surely needs no introduction. Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was, of course, the great British naturalist, geologist and biologist best known for his seminal and explosive work, On the Origin of Species in 1859...➤ Read More

Happy birthday, Leonhart Fuchs

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My, how times flies. That eminent botanist, Leonhart Fuchs, turns five hundred and thirteen today. He was, in case you’ve been distracted the whole long time, the German physician, botanist and professor after whom the genus Fuchsia...➤ Read More

Alfred Russel Wallace 1823-1913

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Alfred Russel Wallace was one of the most brilliant scientists of the 19th century. A naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist, Wallace independently conceived the theory of evolution through natural selection...➤ Read More

Bartram's Garden on the Schuykill

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”The botanick fire had set in me such a flame as is not to be quenched untill death”. Born in 1699 into a Quaker family in colonial Pennsylvania, John Bartram was to become...➤ Read More