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George Forrest

(1873—1932) plant collector


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(1873–1932), Scottish plant collector who, as a teenager, travelled to Australia and South Africa, and on returning to Edinburgh joined the staff of the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden. In 1904 his powers of endurance and organizational abilities brought him to the attention of A. K. Bulley (1861–1942) the nurseryman, who was creating a garden on the Wirral, and who engaged Forrest to collect suitable plants from western China. Over the following 28 years six journeys were undertaken by Forrest encompassing north-west China and Tibet. A remarkably successful plant collector, he maintained meticulous and systematic field notes, and was one of the few men to use native collectors. He sent home in excess of 30,000 botanical specimens, of which over 300 were new species of rhododendron. Forrest was supported by a number of patrons, including the Cornishman John Charles Williams of Caerhays Castle and the Rhododendron Society (founded 1915).

From The Oxford Companion to the Garden in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Lifestyle, Home, and Garden.


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