This page uses content from the David Douglas biography page on the English version of Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. This list of authors can be seen in the page history. Rotten Tomatoes disclaims any and all warranties as to the accuracy or reliability of the content.
David Douglas (December 30, 1799 – 1834) was a Scottish botanist. The son of a stonemason, he was born in the village of Scone north-west of Perth. He attended Kinnoul School and upon leaving he found work as an apprentice gardener in the estate of the 3rd Earl of Mansfield at Scone Palace. He spent seven years at this position before leaving to attend college in Perth to learn more of the scientific and mathematical aspects of plant culture. After a further spell of working in Fife (during which time he had access to a library of botanical and zoological books) he moved to the Botanical Gardens of Glasgow and attended botany lectures at the University of Glasgow. The Professor of Botany was greatly impressed with him and took him on an expedition to the Highlands before recommending him to the Royal Horticultural Society of London.
On behalf of Sir William Hooker of the RHS, the resourceful and often intrepid Douglas undertook a plant-hunting expedition in the Pacific Northwest in 1824 that ranks among the great botanical explorations of a heroic generation. The Douglas-fir, which he introduced into cultivation in 1827, is named after him. Other notable introductions include Sitka Spruce, Sugar Pine, Western White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Lodgepole Pine, Monterey Pine, Grand Fir, Noble Fir and several other conifers that transformed the British landscape and timber industry, as well as numerous garden shrubs and herbs such as the Flowering currant, Salal, Lupin, Penstemon and California poppy. His success was well beyond expectations; in one of his letters to Hooker, he wrote "you will begin to think I manufacture pines at my pleasure". Altogether he introduced about 240 species of plants to Britain. He died in Hawaii at age 35 when he fell into a pit trap and was crushed by a bull that fell into the same trap.
The David Douglas High School school in Portland, Oregon is named after him.
In the Spring of 1826, David Douglas was compelled to climb a peak near Athabasca Pass to take in the view. In so doing, he became the first mountaineer in North America.
The standard botanical author abbreviation Douglas is applied to plants described by this botanist, who should also appear on this list.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify the biographical information on this page under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.