Plant Trivia TimeLine: 1800 – 1849

Humboldt to Paxton

1799 Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland began their 5-year exploration of Central and South America. Among the six thousand plant specimens Bonpland had collected, scientists named 4500 new species. (Aniśko,2013)

1800 As science entered the 19th century, much had been accomplished. The Royal Society, in existence for nearly 140 years, had fostered the works of people such as Newton, Boyle, Hooke, Grew, Malpighi, and Ray. Descriptive botany was entering its heyday, based on the new Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature. Banks was at the height of his prestige and influence. Kew had flowered its first tropical orchid only a decade earlier, in 1789. In that same year, at the beginning of the French Revolution, Jussieu (having organized plantings at the Jardin du Roi, later termed the Jardin des plantes, in Paris to reflect his thoughts on plant relationships) published the first natural system of classification (Genera Plantarum). Though scientists clearly appreciated the unfolding richness of world flora, biogeography and ecology were yet to develop. Physiology was, in its infancy, a pure outgrowth of experimentation in early chemistry and physics. Priestley, whose iconoclastic religious beliefs meant he would be forced to flee England to live in Pennsylvania, had established a remarkable relationship between the effects of plants versus animals on the nature of air. But his work (Experiments and observations on different kinds of air, 1774) referred to phlogiston and dephlogisticated air, not to oxygen or other elements. The periodic table did not exist; indeed, oxygen was not named until 1777 and hydrogen in 1783.

1800 Per capita consumption of sugar in England reached 18 lbs, up from an approximate per person consumption of 4 pounds in 1700. Much of this rise in sugar consumption seems related to increase in tea drinking. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1800 The soybean was known in Philadelphia, but gained little widespread attention. The bean would be introduced to California agriculture in San Francisco by direct importation from Japan in 1850.

1800 The population of Philadelphia had surpassed 40,000 inhabitants, making it the most populous town in North America. Until the late 18th century, Cahokia (the population center for Mississippian people, located east of St. Louis, in the Illinois flat lands) was the largest settlement north of Mexico and Central America. (Williams, 2006; Wikipedia, 2019)

1800 See entries for 1892 and 1908, John Burroughs, referencing this often quoted stanza from A Poet’s Epitaph, by William Wordsworth: Physician art thou? one all eyes, Philosopher! a fingering slave, One that would peep and botanize Upon his mother’s grave?

1801 Elgin Botanical Garden was under development at the northern edge of New York City, largely through efforts of David Hosack, a professor at the medical school of Columbia College. Today Rockefeller Center stands on a portion of the 20 acre site once occupied by this garden. (Campana, 1999; Wikipedia page on David Hosack)

1801 The first Harvard Botanic Garden was established.

1801 The elder Michaux published the first account of North American oaks, Histoire des Chénes de l’ Amerique., soon followed by more complete accounts in the 1819 North American Sylva, by Michaux f.

1801 John Wedgwood (son of Josiah Wedgwood, uncle to Charles Darwin) wrote William Forsyth (George III’s gardener) and Joseph Banks about starting the Royal Horticultural Society – which quickly came into being.

1801 The cast iron process was invented, playing eventually into systems for constructing large conservatories.

1801 The later-day owner of Alexander Pope’s renowned estate was driven to removing the garden’s famous willow tree in an effort to discourage tourists and lookyloos. (Rupp, 1990)

1801 In describing the new genus Lodoicea, J. J. H. Labillardiére commemorated an analogy made by P. Commerson (who served with Louis Bougainville on his historic voyages) between the form of the famous coco-de-mer fruit (the double coconut) and his image of the pelvis of Laodice (lovely daughter of King Priam of Troy). Previously, the plant had been included in the coconut genus, Cocos. (Emboden, 1974)

1802 Bernard M’Mahon established his nursery in Philadelphia and began his own limited publication series similar to Curtis in 1806. His seed lists are said to be the first published in the US. M’Mahon was selected to receive and germinate seed collected by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

1802 Frederick Traugott Pursh, who had arrived in the US to work at a botanic garden in Baltimore, was hired to manage Woodlands, the noted Philadelphia estate and plant collection of William Hamilton. In 1805, Pursh left that position to collect and study plants in of Eastern North America, eventually taking a job at New York’s Elgin Botanical Garden. Returning to England in 1812, Pursh completed work on his 1814 Flora Americae Spetentrionalis, the second flora of North America. (Hedrick, 1950)

1802 Robert Brown arrived at Sydney (Australia) on the Investigator, along with botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer. George Caley, who had already been sent to collect plants in New South Wales by Banks, was furious that a second botanist was dispatched. (In 1803 Banks received seed of 170 species from Caley.)

1802 John Champneys of Charleston, South Carolina, created ‘Champneys’ Pink Cluster’ rose (eventual parent to the Noisette hybrids) through crossing ‘Parson’s Pink China’ with Rosa moschata, a white-flowered climbing rose from Asia. His new rose, a climber producing bunches of double, pink flowers, was quickly established in American gardens. Champney had acquired his China rose from the Noisette nursery in Charleston. Philippe Noisette produced seedlings from ‘Champneys’ Pink Cluster’ from which he selected the first Noisette, which was introduced in Europe through his brother in Paris. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1802 The first seed sold in packages in America were marketed by a Shaker community at Enfield, Connecticut. Keeping their own seed lines healthy and free of corruption was a hallmark of that community. (Connor, 1994)

1802 Franz Karl Achard, through support from Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, opened what appears to be the first commercial sugar beet refinery at Gut Kunern near Steinau, Silesia. Following up on Marggraf’s demonstration that sugar could be extracted from beets, Achard had begun planting them on his estate by 1789, using those crops to mass select for sugar content. (Dudley, inFrey, 1994) Achard’s trailblazing efforts did not work out well for him, personally. Fires in his refineries were followed by bankruptcy in 1815, and Achard died destitute.

1802 The term biology, taken from Greek (bios = life) was first utilized in its modern sense by German naturalist Gottfried Reinhold. The English word was first used by Stanfield in 1813. (OED)

1803 Henry and Sealy Fourdrinier improved on Robert’s paper making machine. The continuous belt of wire mesh that layers the pulp is today called a Fourdrinier Screen. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)

1803 Benjamin Smith Barton wrote and published America’s first botanical textbook, Elements of botany, or Outlines of the natural history of vegetables. Barton worked at the center of Philadelphia’s intelligentsia, an educated and productive cadre including naturalists, collectors and professionals in many fields. He had studied medicine under Benjamin Rush, his uncle was astronomer David Rittenhouse, his son Thomas amassed a significant collection of Shakespeariana owned by the Boston Public Library today… (Wikipedia, 2018)

1803 Jane Austen completed the initial script for her first novel, Northanger Abbey, though the book was published postmortem, nearly 15 years later. Fortunately, her brother had re-purchased the publishing rights in 1816 and Austen made final edits before her death in 1817, when the text was finally issued. The story describes heroine and viewer Catherine Morland’s tour with her host General Tilney through Northanger Abbey’s estate grounds and nursery: ‘The number of acres contained in this garden was such as Catherine could not listen to without dismay, being more than double the extent of all Mr. Allen’s, as well her father’s, including church-yard and orchard. The walls seemed countless in number, endless in length; a village of hot-houses seemed to arise among them, and a whole parish to be at work within the enclosure. The General was flattered by her looks of surprise, which told him almost as plainly, as he soon forced her to tell him in words, that she had never seen any gardens at all equal to them before; — and he then modestly owned that, “without any ambition of that sort himself — without any solicitude about it — he did believe them to be unrivaled in the kingdom. If he had a hobby-horse, it was that. He loved a garden. Though careless enough in most matters of eating, he loved good fruit — or if he did not, his friends and children did. There were great vexations, however, attending such a garden as his. The utmost care could not always secure the most valuable fruits. The pinery had yielded only one hundred in the last year.Mr. Allen, he supposed, must feel these inconveniences as well as himself.”’ (with modernized spelling of surprize and unrivalled.) Austen’s Gothic satire refers to the “pinery” – a hothouse for cultivating pineapples. Search the web for the 1761 Dunmore Park Pineapple hothouse, an archetypal pinery. Search also: Ruth Levitt, 2014. “‘A Noble Present of Fruit’: A Transatlantic History of Pineapple Cultivation”, Garden History 42:106-119.)

1803 See TimeLine 2006, entry on Liparia villosa.

1804 Between 1803 and 1805, German pharmacist, F.W. Sertürner, experimented with opium poppy extracts, and by December, 1804, seems to have isolated morphine from opium latex. The three extracts of opium commonly used medicinally are morphine, codeine, and papaverine. (Simpson, 1989) Sertürner elected to name the isolate morphium, for Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, but it would later be called morphine. Not until 1925 would the chemical structure of morphine be determined. (Le Couteur & Burresson, 2003) [See 1817]

1804 Nicholas T. de Saussure’s book Recherches chimiques sur la végétation (HNT) marked the beginning of modern plant physiology because of its well thought-out, documented experiments and attention to good experimental methodology. Working in Geneva, de Saussure achieved advances in our knowledge of plant nutrition and demonstrated that carbon from the atmosphere is fixed into the carbon that makes up organic compounds by plants undergoing photosynthesis. Saussure answered questions concerning the role of water in plant growth. In one experiment he combined various lines of study and demonstrated that cuttings set in distilled water continued to assimilate carbon, a result that denied earlier conclusions by Senebier and should have dispelled belief in the idea that carbon enters plants in the same manner as other nutrients from the soil [See 1813, the humus theory]. (Morton, 1981)

1804 Valentin Rose, a German scientist, extracted a “peculiar substance” from roots of the daisy Inula helenium (made through boiling the roots in water). Today we call this substance inulin. It is a highly branched, large polysaccharide (a molecule assembled from sugars) which is not broken down by the same enzymes that dismantle regular plant starches for animal consumption. Botanists believe plants may use inulin (also called helenin, alatin, and meniantin) to help maintain osmotic balances, conditions that can impact cold-hardiness or drought resistance. As a natural product that cannot be easily broken down, inulin is used as a “dietary fiber”. (Wikipedia, 2015)

1804 Lewis and Clark began their expedition. Lewis spent nine months in Philadelphia studying botany under Benjamin Smith Barton to prepare for the journey. Jefferson distributed the seed they collected to Hamilton at The Woodlands and by M’Mahon. By 1825 Oregon grape holly was widely known and was available commercially from Prince Nursery of Flushing, NY for $25. (Spongberg, 1990) [See 1823, Douglas]

1804 Christopher Gore and his wife began the construction of their home and garden in Waltham, MA. Their interest in exotic plants was shared with neighbor Theodore Lyman, who at that time was also improving his estate, The Vales. Both families imported plants from Europe and built greenhouses for tropicals.

1804 Capt. John Chester brought the first shipload of bananas to the US on the Reynard to port in New York. Bananas did not become common in this country until after 1870, when Capt. L. D. Baker began exchange of mining equipment for Jamaican bananas. (Fussell, 1986) [See 1899]

1804 American and European traders began stripping Pacific Islands for sandalwood for use in Europe and China. Sandalwood trees were wiped out on Fiji by 1809, on the Marquesas by 1814, on Hawaii by 1825. (Ponting, 1991)

1804 England’s Royal Horticultural Society was formed. Present at the first meeting were John Wedgewood, William Forsyth (Gardener to King George III at Kensington and St. James, Forsythia), Joseph Banks, Charles Greville, Richard A. Salisbury, William Townsend Aiton, and James Dickson. (Fletcher, 1969)

1804 The Japanese devil lily (oniyuri) was brought into cultivation at Kew. Due to the ease of propagation from bulbils that form in the leaf axils, Kew gardeners were able to propagate and distribute over 10,000 plants within a decade. Scientific name Lilium lancifolium aside, the plant is known today most readily by its English common name, tiger lily. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1805 Alexander von Humboldt’s personal observations of many different plant habitats resulted in his important generalizations about the relationships of plants to their native climates. He is probably best known for making ecological correlations between the different plant habitats observed with rising elevation and the changing habitats seen when traveling from the tropics to arctic regions. Publication of his Essai sur la géographie des plantes… may be considered the beginning of the science of ecology. (HNT)

1806 Napoleon offered 100,000 francs to anyone who could create sugar from a native plant. Russian chemist K. S. Kirchhof later discovered that sulfuric acid added to potato starch would make the conversion. (Fussell, 1992)

1806 T. A. Knight devised a wheel that rotated on a vertical plane to test the importance of gravity to plant growth. Later Julius Sachs refined this design to invent the klinostat.

Knight’s studies demonstrated that the gravitational field does indeed impact plant growth, and that the effects of gravity can be replaced by rotational forces. (Morton, 1981)

1806 Louis Nicolas Vauquelin and Pierre Jean Robiquet extracted and described the first known amino acid, Asparagine, from the juice of asparagus. One of 22 amino acids required by humans for building of proteins, Asparagine is considered “non-essential” because it can be synthesized through human metabolism. Plants are able to manufacture all amino acids. (Of course, plants also make the oxygen we breathe and the sugars that power us)……. (Rupp, 2011)

1806    Walter Burling introduced cotton seed from Mexico. See: Caroll Smith, (1 March 2016, ‘Your Great Granddaddy’s Cotton Varieties,” Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138 “Mexican stock was introduced by Walter Burling at Natchez, Miss., in 1806 and was later bred as Mexican Big Boll by J.D. Hope of Sharon, S.C., in 1914. Between 1830 and 1840, H.W.Vick of Vicksburg, Miss., worked with a variety called Belle Creole from which he selected a new variety, Jethro. This variety eventually made its way to Georgia and became the parent stock of Jones Long Staple and Six-Oaks. About 1840, Vick introduced another variety called Petit Gulf. In 1865, a Texas settler named Supak, who lived near Austin, introduced a variety known as Bohemian, which became the parent stock of Rowden and Express. Other famous varieties from the early days include Parker, Bancroft Herlong and Peterkin. And out West, the New Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station introduced a strain of Acala in 1923 that was bred from stock that originated in California and became known as College Acala.

“The Stoneville type of cotton is descended from Lone Star 65, selected in 1916 by H.B. Brown….Lone Star 65 was thought by Brown to be a natural cross with Mississippi Station Trice,” Ware says. In another section, he says, “H.B. Tisdale worked on the breeding and distribution in Alabama of the wilt-resistant varieties Dixie, Dixie-Cook and Dixie-Triumph from 1914-1920.” Also see cotton varieties Belle Creole, Jethro, Parker, and Petit Gulf, bred in Mississippi.

See also: Stanley Nelson, Apr 25, 2018 – “War, cotton, dolls & Walter Burling” Concordia Sentinel. In this newspaper article, Nelson recounts the story of WalterBurlin, and how he came to introduce cotton seed that led to a Mississippi breeding program: “Burling was a man who became somewhat famous for his contribution to the cotton industry. He also played a minor role in two related events — the Sabine Expedition of 1806 and the Aaron Burr Conspiracy of 1807, both important to the history of Natchez county. While in Mexico City, Burling learned that local farmers grew a high quality cotton variety. Burling asked if he could bring some of the cottonseed back to the U.S., but learned that the Spanish government banned such an act.

But a high-ranking Spanish official told Burling over wine one evening that there was no ban on purchasing as many Mexican dolls as he wished. Puzzled at first, Burling soon learned that the dolls were stuffed with cottonseed. These seed were later modified in Mississippi into the “Petit Gulf” and other varieties, favorites of planters for years.”

1807 In A Sketch of a Tour on the Continent, James Edward Smith remarks on failed efforts by John Graeffer to transform an area of the formal royal gardens (Caserta) in Naples tothe British landscape style.  Having been recommended for that challenge by Joseph Banks and William Hamilton, Graeffer’s efforts must have failed to please, as recounted by Smith: “unfortunately none of the Neapolitans could see any kind of beauty in his performances, and they complained of his introducing so vulgar a thing as myrtle! The queen was much disposed to be pleased, but she could not stem the tide of opinion; nor did the king approve of the expense: so the whole was given up some time after.” (Wikipedia entry on John Graeffer)

1810 Liverpool Botanic Garden received the first Cattleya known to be cultivated. The plant was sent from Sao Paulo, Brasil, by Mr. Woodforde to Mr. Shepherd at the Garden. Plants from this original introduction are said to have bloomed every subsequent year – though that was never published. (Reinikka, 1972)

1810 Goats introduced to St. Helena Island began devastation that eventually caused extinction of 22 of the 33 endemic plants. (Ponting, 1991)

1810 Fulfilling a commitment to the French government, Nicolas Appert, a confectioner, published a book describing his methods for preserving food using heat – L’Art de conserver les substances animales et végétales (The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances). Appert was responding to recent works by Lazarro Spallanzani, which documented destruction of microbes through various applications of heat. Though Spallanzini’s conclusions were denied by some gifted scientists (notably Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac), Appert ignored controveries and began the canning industry. (Magner, 2002)

1810 Robert Brown’s Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiaemarked the beginning of his publications on the flora of Australia. Brown made important comparisons of plants from Australia with other floras, yielding a fresh approach to this type of study. With Brown’s work, botanists began to understand that significant information can result from studying the distributions and associations of plants. We also began to realize the distinctive nature of the Australian biota.

1811 Lehrbuch der Materia Medica, by Johann Adam Schmidt (personal physician to Ludwig von Beethoven) was published posthumouly, introducing the term pharmacognosy. which was formalized by 1815 with publication of Analecta Pharmacognostica by Anotheus Seydler. (Wikipedia)

1813 Humphrey Davy (a noted chemist) published his lectures on chemistry and agriculture as Elements of Agricultural Chemistry. A leading text for over three decades, this book was one important step in the development of agricultural science. At the time of this publication, agriculturists (and Davey) accepted the humus theory, which held that plants gained both carbon and nitrogen from decomposition of humus in the soil. (Morton, 1981)

1814 Frederick Pursh published his Flora Americae Septentrionalis. He had been engaged originally by Barton in 1805 to study the plant material collected by Lewis and Clark, and later he worked for Hosack at Elgin. In 1809 he returned to London with his own collections of plant material to study.

1814 The deadly effects of various Amazonian plant mixtures called curare were learned by early European explorers, but not until 1800 when Alexander von Humboldt gave the first Western account of how the toxin was prepared by Orinoco River natives were plant sources (often involving the vine Strychnos) known. In 1814, Charles Waterton, having already disposed of numerous animals through experiments with curare, injected a donkey with the mixture. The animal collapsed quickly, after which Waterton inserted bellows into its windpipe and inflated the lungs. With this intervention, the donkey recovered consciousness; however, Waterton had to pump the bellows for two hours to keep the animal alive. We later came to understand that curare immobilizes voluntary muscle tissue through blocking transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. (Lewington, 1990)

1815 Johann Friedrich Elsholz, a German, died while participating in a Russian expedition to California. Later, the German botanist, Adelbert von Chamisso, honored Elsholz through describing the new genus Eschscholziafor the California poppy, albeit misspelling the name of the honoree. Hardly anyone has been able to spell the scientific name of this plant, the state flower of California, ever since. (Grimshaw, 1998 – information on Chamisso in Grimshaw is incorrect – correction supplied by Ann Gardiner)

1816 John Reeves introduced Wisteria sinensis to European gardening from nurseries in Canton, China. The first two plants to be exported, each sent on-board a different ship, arrived in the same month of May. One of the ship Captains was Richard Rawes, famous for his involvement with introduction of the first camellias. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1816 Henry Hall is credited as the first person to cultivate cranberries.

1816 Crop failure was widespread in Europe, resulting in food riots in England, France, and Belgium. (Ponting, 1991)

1816 James Hart Stark, traveled from Kentucky to Missouri, carrying apple tree scions which were the foundation for the Stark Nursery in the town of Louisiana. (E. Sinclair in Slosson, 1951)

1816 John Claudius Loudon patented a flexible glazing-bar (for holding glass) made of wrought-iron, which made construction of large and even curvi-linear greenhouse structuse possible. (Colquhoun, 2003)

1817 The first Bourbon rose, an apparent chance hybrid between Rosa ×damascena ‘Bifera’ and ‘Parson’s Pink China’, flowered on the French colonial Isle de Bourbon in the Indian Ocean (today the isle is called Réunion.) The ‘Parson’s Pink China’ had only recently been introduced to the settlers’ gardens. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1817 The US Congress approved “An act to set apart and dispose of certain public lands, for encouragement and cultivation of the vine and olive.” The conditions were immediately undertaken by French exiles who had settled near Philadelphia following the Battle of Waterloo. Organized as the Vine and Olive Colony, the group moved to the Alabama Territory and settled along the Tombigbee River on 92,160 acres (purchased from the US government for $2 an acre) near the site of what is today Demopolis. Their settlement, the first effort to cultivate olive and grapes in the deep South, failed soon after. (M.B. Sulzby in Slosson, 1951)

1817 For just over a decade, French chemists had experimented with methods of defining the active principle in opium. Both Jean-Froancois Derosne and Armand Seguin independently detailed successful results. But in this year (after 12 years of work) German pharmacist Fredrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner conducted experiments using a new procedure that precipitated crystals he named “morphium” – for Morpheus, Rome’s god of dreams. J. L. Gay-Lussac coined the name “morphine.” (Filan, 2011) [See 1804]

1817 Allan Cunningham joined an expedition headed by John Oxley (Surveyor-General)of the lands beyond the Blue Mountains, gathering specimens documenting about 450 species. His colorful journal is rich with information: “On 24 June – I gathered specimens of a new and remarkable Acacia, whose long narrow leaves have induced me to propose the trivial name of stenophylla.” (published as such by George Bentham in 1842)

1817 French scientists Joseph Bienaimé Caventou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier reported and named chlorophyll.(Wikipedia)

1817 Italian scientist Sebastiani Poggioli reported his studies of plant growth in response to differing colors of light. Of particular note were his observations regarding blue light and direction of growth. After numerous researchers and directions, in 1997 researchers identified the mechanism, naming the blue-light receptors “phototropins”. (Wada, et al,, 2005, Chapter 15 by Winslow Briggs)

1817 Jacob M. Bigelow published the first of his 3-volume American Medical Botany“Under the title of American Medical Botany, it is my intention to offer to the public a series of coloured engravings of those native plants, which possess properties deserving the attention of medical practitioners. The plan will likewise include vegetables of a particular utility in diet and the arts; also poisonous plants which must be known to be avoided. In making the selection, I have endeavoured to be guided by positive evidence of important qualities and not by the insufficient testimony of popular report. . . I am by no means ambitious to excite an interest in the subjects of this work, by exaggerated accounts of virtues which do not belong to them. Much harm has been done in medicine, by the partial representations of those, who, having a point to prove, have suppressed their unsuccessful experiments, and brought in to view none but favorable facts.” Plants covered represent those he believed were likely to yield medical value. The descriptions and drawings were his own. The volumes appear to represent the earliest example of a color printing process called “aquatinting.” ( Steven Foster, 2004. “Jacob Bigelow’s American Medical Botany: Digital Reissue Illuminates Access to Rare Work” HerbalGram 63:52-61 American Botanical Council) As to his medicine, Bigelow was known, principally, as a practiced and astute physician who had earlier published important medical information decrying outdated beliefs and calling for modernization and improvements in treatment: “Bigelow’s deprications helped form a new conceptual nucleus around which medical orthodoxy could begin to redefine itself.” (Paul Starr: Transformations in American Medicine, per Wikipedia, 2018)

1818 The wrought iron process was industrialized, changing the way designers would create conservatory structures.

1818 The Columbian Institute petitioned the U.S. Congress for appropriation of grounds to establish a botanical garden and museum. The gardens, once established, eventually came under control of a Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, and remained as one of the forces shaping development of the Washington mall for over 100 years. Through separate interventions such as entreaties of William Darlington and direct action by the Secretary of War, Joel Poinsett, the 1836 bequest by James Smithson became involved with this developing garden as the U.S. Congress took several years to consider how best to utilize the gift. (O’Malley, in Meyers, 1998) [See 1841]

1818 Thomas Nuttall published the second volume of The Genera of North American Plants (and a Catalogue of the Species to the year 1817). On page 115 he described the genus Wisteria, “in memory of Caspar Wistar, M.D. late professor of Anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania and for many years president of the American Philosophical Society; a philanthropist of simple manner, and modest pretensions, but an activepromoter of science.” Nuttall, with seeming purpose, named the genus Wisteria, rather than Wistaria; his spelling has been officially conserved by botanists. Horticulturists in England, however, continue to spell the genusWistaria .  Caspar Wistar’s contributions to medical science were significant, and in 1892 his great-nephew Issac Jones Wistar funded an endowment to establish The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, housing Caspar Wistar’s collections and honoring his contributions.  The Wistar Institute stands as America’s earliest independent medical research organization. (Note: It would be easy enough to confuse Caspar Wistar with the later horticulturist John Caspar Wister, also of the Philadelphia area. Wister had a founding role in establishment of Swarthmore‘s Scott Arboretum during his 50-year tenure at theCollege.)

1819 Robert Coate began his willow business (that means he was a “withy” merchant), buying and selling twigs for products, most particularly for the manufacture of baskets. With dwindling need of willow baskets for cargo, the company found new life when Percy Coate discovered in the 1960s that willow produces excellent quality artists charcoal. ( (Finlay, 2002)

1819 Though potatoes would soon become more important, as of this year they were not so common in the United States. On page 179, in his A Year’s Residence in the United States of America, William Cobbett writes: “Nor do I say, that it is filthy to eat potatoes. I do not ridicule the using of them as sauce. What I laugh at is, the idea of the use of them being a saving; of their going further than bread; of the cultivation of them in lieu of wheat adding to the human sustenance of a country.. As food for cattle, sheep or hogs, this is the worst of all the green and root crops; but of this I have said enough before; and therefore, I now dismiss the Potatoe with the hope, that I shall never again have to write the word, or see the thing.” (Hedrick, 1950)

1820 French chemists isolated quinine (an alkaloid) from the bark of Cinchona, making possible the production of a purified chemical treatment for malaria. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996) The chemists selected the name, quinine, for the alkaloid from the native American term quinaquina (meaning bark of barks) for the cinchona. (Lewington, 1990) [See 1658, 1865]

1820 In one of the first documented timber extractions in New Zealand, the English HMS Dromedary and the schooner Prince Regent sailed to New Zealand to take on a load of kauri spars (Agathis wood for mast crossbeams). The required spars would be 74-84 feet long, 21-23 inches in diameter, and perfectly straight. (Pawson & Brooking, 2002)

1820 John Clare published his first poetry collection: Poems Descrpitive of Rural Life and Scenery. Followed in 1821 with The Village Minstrel and 1827 by The Shepherd’s Garden, Clare could well be the poet Laurette of nature’s seasons, as his lyrical descriptives celebrated a first-hand knowing and fondness of local flora and fauna: “I love the lone green places where they be .” (Mabey, 2010)

1820 In Prometheus Unbound and Other Poems, a posthumous publication of Percy B. Shelley’s poems, his “The Sensitive Plant” explores the meaning of life through references to the bashful sensitive plant., see Itsuki Kitani, 2009, Sensibility and Shelley’s Organic System of Nature in ‘The Sensitive Plant’

1821 Fifteen thousand specimens collected by Thaddaeus Haenke as part of the Malaspina Expedition [see 1879 entry] were secured by Prague’s National Museum. Haenke distinguished himself as the first Western botanist to explore the South American interior. As part of his continued explorations, Haenke had (in 1801) been the first scientist to see populations of the Giant Waterlily, Victoria amazonica. (Aniśko, 2013)

1822 Europeans had cultivated pineapples in hothouses for over a century. In this year, John Claudius Loudon wrote: ‘The Different Modes of Cultivating the Pine-Apple, From its First Introduction into Europe to The Late Improvements of T. A. Knight Esq, by a Member of the Horticultural Society, noting “sixteen varieties … most commonly grown in Britain,…: ‘The Old Queen’, ‘Ripley’s Queen’, ‘Welbeck Seedling’, ‘Pyramidal’ (‘Brown Sugar-loaf’), ‘Prickly Striped Sugar loaf’, ‘Smooth Striped Sugar-loaf’, ‘Havannah’, ‘Montserrat’, ‘King Pine’ (‘Shning Green’), ‘Green’ (‘St Vincent’s Pine’), ‘Black Antigua’, ‘Black Jamaica’, ‘Providence ‘Blood-red’, ‘Silver Striped Queen’ and variegated-leaved pines”. (Ruth Levitt, 2014. “‘A Noble Present of Fruit’: A Transatlantic History of Pineapple Cultivation”, Garden History 42:106-119.)

1823 Giovani Battista Amici published observations of pollen and pollen tubes in Portulaca oleracea: Osservazioni microscopiche sopra varie piante memoria del sig. professor Gio. Battista Amici (inserita nel tomo 19. degli Atti della Societa italiana delle Scienze residente in Modena.) One study Amici reported involved pollen, including his observation that a hair, or tube, was present, attached to a pollen grain. His description constitutes the first report of pollen tubes. (see Internet Archive for a digital version of the publication,

1823 Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold arrived in Japan to live there until 1830 as surgeon major in the Dutch East Indies Army, anxious for a career as a scientific explorer. He restored order to the botanical garden at Deshima. Because he accepted the gift of a map of Japan on his trip to Edo (foreigners were not allowed access to this type of information,) Siebold was imprisoned for a year, but pardoned in 1829. Banished from Japan in 1830, he was forced to abandon his Japanese wife and their child. The deck of the vessel on which he sailed was filled with plants he used to establish a nursery in Leiden. Among his introductions were Wisteria floribundaHydrangea paniculataHydrangea anomala, Malus floribunda, and Rhodotypos scandens. He returned to Japan in 1859 andby 1863 produced a sales catalog that offered 838 species native to that country. (Spongberg, 1990)

1823 David Douglas was sent by The Royal Horticultural Society to the Eastern US to procure any new varieties of fruit trees and vegetables that might have been developed there. He met Thomas Nuttall (a British native recently appointed professor of Botany at the Harvard Botanic Garden) and others who helped him. Douglas returned to England with a wide variety of fruit trees, as well as Oregon grape holly. (Spongberg, 1990) [See 1804]

1823 Charles MacIntosh found that fabrics could be made waterproof by treating with natural rubber. [See 1839, 1881] The word rubber had been coined for the ability of this resilient material to rub out pencil marks [See 1770]. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996)

1823 Robert Bruce, and later his brother Charles, negotiated the process of acquiring seed and plants of the Assam form of tea (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) from the Singpho trive of Upper Assam. Eleven years later, the East India Company recognized the value of this discovery and began establishing tea plantation in Assam, with the first tea arriving in London in 1838. The growth in this enterprise led to conscription and near-enslavement of several hundred thousand recruits from over India. Within 60 years, 340,000 acres in Assam were dedicated to tea plantations. With other growing areas established, Chinese tea exports plummeted from 100%, to 10% of the world market. (Hohenegger, 2007) East India Company employees Charles Alexander and Robert Bruce discovered a kind of tea previously unknown to Europeans (Camellia sinensis var. assamica) growing in Assam, a province of northern India. The first shipments of Assam tea arrived in England in 1838. Though attempts were made to cultivate China teas in India, it became clear that the native Assam tea was the better crop for that region. Today, Assam tea is grown in Africa as well as Papua New Guinea. (Lewington, 1990)

1823 While examining flowers of Portulaca oleracea, Giovanni B. Amici reports having observed pollen tubes, which is considered the first published observation of this phenomenon. [Amici, G. B., 1823. Osservazioni microscopische sopra varie piante., Atti Soc. Ital. Sci.] He elaborated further on this observation in a letter to Mirbel. (J. E. Kirkwood, 1906, The Pollen Tube in some of the Cucurbitaceae, Bull. Torrey Bot Club, 33(6), JSTOR)

1824 After decades of battles between the Dutch and English over control of East Indian spice trade, a formal treaty gave the Dutch control of the Malay Archipelago, minus North Borneo. The British were settled with North Borneo, the Malay mainland, India, Ceylon, and Singapore. (Rosengarten, 1969)

1824 John Harris, a US Navy Captain, imported seed of Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) and grew them on his farm in Chester, NY. By mid-century Lima beans were shipped directly from Peru to the California goldfields as comestibles. (Kaplan & Kaplan in Foster & Cordel, 1996)

1825 French chemist Henri Braconnot isolated and described pectin. Earlier, in 1811, he had isolated chitin (the first polysaccharide to be described), and (in 1819), Braconnot demonstrated the conversion of cellulosic compounds to sugar through treatment with sulfuric acid.(Wikipedia)

1825 David Douglas arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River, and returned to England in 1827. In 1829 he arrived in the Pacific Northwest again, collecting seed/plants from California to Alaska (and even Hawaii). Douglas died (1834) while collecting in Hawaii after falling into a pit trap in which a wild bull was already ensnared. C.V. Piper: “The extent and amount of this man’s collections during the three seasons he spent in the Northwest almost surpass belief.” Douglas introduced over 200 species to cultivation in Great Britain, including Douglas fir, sugar pine, noble fir, giant fir, etc. (Spongberg, 1990)

1826 Paxton left the Royal Horticultural Society garden to become head gardener to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth. (Fletcher, 1969) [See 1836, 1851]

1826 John James Dufour published The American Vine Dressers Guide, describing the varieties and cultivation of grapes in Switzerland County, Indiana. Dufour’s guide reflected real experience he had gained from extensive vineyards he managed on the 2,560 acres the family had purchase near Vevay since settling there in 1803. (Helen Link, Helen McNaughton in Slosson, 1951)

1826 Twigs (apparently predominately of basket willow) had long been utilized in England to record tax payments. Notches made in each twig indicated the amount of tax paid. Once split the notched twig yielded two records of payment. When the tax records went to paper transaction in 1826, the archive of twigs was abandoned. A few years later, in 1834, the government determined to eliminate the hoard of tally sticks, and a decision was made to burn them. The resulting fire escaped control and took with it the Houses of Parliament. (Rupp, 1990), see also: the Great Fire of 1834,

1826 An act of the US Congress set off the mania of planting silkworm mulberry, a short- lived industry. (Ewan, 1969)

1826 The unexploited forests of Burma gave impetus to the British conquest of that country. The first area opened (Tenasserim) “was stripped of teak within twenty years.” By the end of the century about 10,000,000 acres of Burma forest were cleared. (Ponting, 1991)

1827 While studying pollen grains macerated in water through a microscope, Robert Brown observed random vibrational movement in the material. Through further investigation, he discovered the movement occurs even when there is nothing organic (or living) suspended in the water. In 1905, Einstein demonstrated that Brownian motion relates to the inherent motion of molecules present. (Krauss, 2002)

1827 The Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of Agricuulture established the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PSA), the earliest US horticultural society in on-going operation. (Campana, 1999)

1827 On 12 September, Thomas Coulter writes to A.P. de Condolle, with observations that describe Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karwin as a “splitter” and an: “amateur with I think rather crude ideas on botany – a real enthusiast for species…cutting out leaves etc. I swear, Sir, that without hesitating a moment he made three species for me out of as many layers which I had made myself from a single stem of cactus. If he had as much zeal and success in multiplying his own species one would no longer see anything in the the world except young Karwinskis.” (Nelson and Probert, 1994)

1828 C. J. van Houten developed the first modern process for making cocoa powder. Soon producers in Holland had learned that alkali could be added to neutralize various acids, making a mild, more soluble cocoa. This process is still called “dutching” today. (Simpson, 1989) By 1815, Van Houten was searching a method to remove cocoa butter better than boiling and skimming. His work resulted in a press that reduces the cocoa butter from over 50% to under 30%. This development improved the process of making chocolate beverages through providing a more soluble product. (Coe and Coe, 1996)

1828 Adolphe Brongniart published the first complete account of fossil plants, establishing himself as the founder of modern paleobotany. He was an early proponent of evolutionary theory. His interpretations of the fossil record also contributed to our understanding of historical changes in climates and plant geography. (HNT)

1828 Wenzel Bojer, an Austrian botanist, discovered Royal Poinciana, Delonix regia, in semi-cultivation on the eastern coast of Madagascar. It was not until1932 that native stands of this spectacular lowland tropical tree were located, on limestone cliffs in western Madagascar. The majestic, splendid orange-red display created by this tree in full bloom gives rise to its many common names, flame tree, flamboyant, and royal poinciana. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1828 Though French botanist André Michaux had (in 1785) written home that “There are no informed people here, not even amateurs,” Jacques Gérard Milbert (in his Picturesqe Itinerary of the Hudson River and the Peripheral Parts of North America, transl. Constance Sherman, 1968) wrote: “Truly, this is a land of botanists.” (Johnson, 2018)

1829 Kurt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel [nephew to Christian Sprengel, see 1793] published a Greek edition of Dioscorides, Pedanii Dioscoridis anazerbei De materia medica libri quinque. This was the first Greek edition of De materia medica to surface since 1598. (Wikipedia)

1830 The first machine for cutting lawns was introduced by Edwin Budding, an English textile-mill engineer. This machine was first imported to the USA 25 years later. (Crotz in Punch, 1992)

1830 Maple trees, taken from local forests, were planted along new streets in Norwalk, Ohio. In encouraging careful treatment for these saplings, the following notices were posted: “We, the small shade trees of Norwalk village do hereby present our humble petitions to the gentlemen of learning and leisure, their pen knives, and all the boys in town, praying you to spare us for a year or two, at least, and would plead in support of our cause that we recently have been taken by the hand of violence from a luxuriant soil and planted in your barren sand, in which, you very well know, it must be hard scratching to sustain life even if treated well. Old hickory, who so lately towered above us all in the woods, is missing here. We are only maples. We wish to grow and adorn the street, but a moment’s reflection will convince you that we can never do it if our exterior must be continually punctured and lacerated by the knives of those absorbed in thought or earnest debate; or our feeble bodies loaded with as many boys as can climb us. That we may find mercy before you, and be spared to repay the planters for their toil is the earnest prayer of your petitioners, and as in feeling and duty bound, we will ever repay. Signed, Sugar and White Maples. P.S. Gentlemen from out of town are respectfully invited not to tie their horses to us, but to the posts provided on the street for that purpose.” (Bessie Martin in Slosson, 1951)

1830 Robert Brown published the first account of the growth of pollen tubes from the stigma to the ovule: “On the organs and modes of fecundation in Orchideae and Asclepiadae,” in The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. (HNT)

1831 Mount Auburn Cemetery was established by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and quickly became a model for other cemeteries to be planted in a naturalistic style. The establishment of beautiful cemeteries in turn provided stimulus for increase in public parks. Botanist and physician Jacob Bigelow played a crucial role in establishment of Mount Auburn. (Hedrick, 1950)

1831 In his Story of My Botanical Studies, Goethe states: “The ever-changing display of plant forms, which I have followed for so many years, awakens increasingly within me the notion: The plant forms which surround us were not all created at some given point in time and then locked into the given form… a felicitous mobility and plasticity allows them to grow and adapt themselves to many different conditions in many different places. This understanding anticipates Darwin’s Origin by three decades. (Wikipedia, 2016)

1831 Thomas Coulter had arrived at San Gabriel Mission (California), a prosperous enterprise with 1300 neophytes, over 25,000 head of cattle, and about 160,000 grape vines, but he was not in great spirits, writing to his sister (Jane Davison) in early November that: “I have been now a month in this country and tho’ there is absolutely nothing to be done in botanizing here at this time of year, I have taken a race over the country from Monterey to this place to see it a distance of about four hundred miles, and fear I shall be greatly disappointed in it when the season does come. I have not long to wait as the rains are about to begin and in March the spring commences. My intention is to work hard this next spring and if an opportunity offers leave this country about July next about which time the country will be as it is now as dry as a lime-kiln – from Monterey to this place the only beaten track in the country lies parallel to the sea coast, at a short distancefrom it, a ridge of low hills running in the same direction a little further inland limit the view so that Ihave merely seen a long narrow band of dry and barren land. What there may be inland I have yet to see but all the information I can get of it is but little encouraging. I am accordingly in as bad humour with myself and all about me as you can well imagine.” Later that month, Coulter returned to Monterrey, where he encountered David Douglas on 23 November. (Nelson and Probert,1994)

1831 David Douglas, in a 23 November letter to William Hooker, describes his encounter with Thomas Coulter: “He is a man eminently calculated to do work – full of zeal, amiable, and I hope may do, for the benefit of the world, great good.” His note leads to the conclusion: “I do assure from my heart it is a terrible pleasure to me to find a good man and a man who can speak of plants.” (cited in Nelson and Probert, 1994)

1832 Thomas Coulter writes to Alphonse de Condolle, regarding his spring expedition to San Gabriel, and on to the Colorado Desert: “As this district (Monterey) has been pretty well examined last year by a Mr. Douglas I wished to examine new ground and have come south hoping to find a good harvest hereabouts and have been completely disappointed – this is really a misfortune to me, for I have lost a whole year by it. The months of April and May being the only time of year worth anything here, and these I have entirely lost. To reach this place in time I have travelled fast, and not examined any thing but the neighbourhood of my route, and consequently collected but little, and here is nothing, nothing. The is truly the kingdom of Desolation. I am at the extreme southwesterly foot of the Rocky Mountains which are totally dry and barren – to the west of them is the great sandy plain about a hundred miles broad and eight hundred miles long running [north- west] to Great Salt Lake and also totally without water except a few small salt ponds… I fear the whole flora of California alta will fall far short of a thousand species…” He does wax a bit more positively in stating …”but there are amongst them a fair proportion of extraordinary and beautiful forms.” (Nelson and Probert, 1994)

1832 An English parliamentary report underscored the value of the opium trade, which had come to represent one sixth of the productivity of British India. Before opium was widely used in trade for tea, silver flowed into China. After establishing the opium trade, China was drained of silver dollars. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1832 By this year 137 different European weeds were naturalized in the New York flora. (Ponting, 1991)

1832 Advertisement for plants in a 4 January edition of The Courier newspaper in New Orleans describe the exotic material arriving at that port: “The subscriber in addition to his already splendid collection of flowering shrubs, plants, etc. has just received from Tennessee in a short passage, a collection of fruit trees, Camellias, Japonicas, Dwarf ranges, Roses…also a number of hardy flowering plants such as Snow Balls, Syringas, Lilacs. Chinese and French Viburnums, Strawberry Tree, Sweet-scented Vitex, Blue Jasmin or Chinese Box, Thorn, Evergreen Privet, Honey Suckles, Double Dahlias – with the new and most approved varieties of the Fig tree, consisting of 10 varieties of those most cultivated in Italy and South of France.” Note these plants are arriving from Eastern North America along waterways. (Hilary Somerville Irvin in Welch & Grant, 1995)

1832 David Douglas: “I do assure from my heart it is a terrible pleasure to me to find a good man and a man who can speak of plants.” (cited in Nelson and Probert, 1994)

1833 Robert Brown published the first account of a cellular nucleus (which he called the “nucleus” and the “aureole” in The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London. (HNT) Note Brown had read his paper before the Society in 1831.

1833 Colley was hired by Bateman to collect orchids in the Demerara region of British Guiana. Sixty species were returned alive from this expedition.

1833 Glass production improved, making manufacture of sheet glass up to 6ft (1.8 m) long possible. Before that time the largest size available was 4 ft (1.2m) in broad glass or 4-5 ft (1.2-1.5m) in crown glass. (A. Bonar, “Cathedrals of Glass”, The Garden 115 (10): 526-530.)

1833 Cotton constituted over half of total US exports, with 146 million kilograms of raw product sold to Britain at a value of £8.5 million. Over 100,000 power looms were in operation and 9% of British workers (over half of whom were child laborers) were employed in the cotton industry. Their production (mainly in yarn) accounted for half of British export trade. Just over 4 decades earlier in 1771, pre-Revolutionary America supplied just over 85 thousand kilos of raw cotton to Britain – less than 10% of raw cotton imports, most of which came from Syria and the Levant. The first bale of American cotton to arrive in Liverpool ports, which would come to supply the Lancashire mills, arrived in 1784. But by 1850, Southern states were the source of 82% of cotton lint utilized by British industry. (Musgrove & Musgrove, 2002)

1833 Alcide d’Orbigny returned to Paris with thousands of specimens of plants and animals he had collected during a seven-year long expedition in South America. The results of his explorations were published in 5,000 pages over 12 years in volumes entitled Voyage dans l’Amérique Méridionale. Though plants were not his principal interest, d’Orbigny made many contributions to plant study, including providing accounts of populations of Victoria, the giant water lilies… (Aniśko, 2013)

1833 Anselyme Palen isolated and characterized diastase, the first enzyme to be studied. The term “enzyme” was first used in relationship to fermenting activity of yeast in1877, by German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne.

1833 The California mission era ended when Mexican legislation decreed secularization. Extensive vineyards that had been developed over the previous 50-60 years were increasingly abandoned, such that within 4-5 decades, no productive acreage remained. These were not, however, the only vineyards in California. Records indicate at least 22 individuals operating vineyards in the Los Angeles area by 1831. In this same year, Jean Louis Vignes, a recent arrival to the area, purchased his first vineyard acreage. Ten years later, he cultivated over 30,000 vines, the largest vineyard in California. (Pinney, 2017)

1834 When Liwwät Boke emigrated to Ohio from Germany, her packing list included seed for produce, as well as for flowers: wheat, clover, barley, rye, apples, cherries, peaches, pears, quince, plum, apricot, margaritas, snapdragon, peonies, and morning glory. (Adams, 2004)

1834 Over the next few years, and then through several editions, John Claudius Loudon published Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum, his multi-volume compendium of trees. The encyclopedic descriptions held forth as a go-to resource for tree cultivation over many decades, and remain a trove of information. Loudon incorporated references to ancient texts, scientific studies, and literature, while at the same time dishing up his own highly personal opinions as to the nature and appropriate use of trees in the landscape. From this treatment of Laurus nobilis, we discover: “It was a custom in the middle ages to place wreathes of laurel, with berries on, on the heads of those poets who had particularly distinguished themselves; hence out expression, poet laureate. Students who have taken their degrees at the universities are called bachelors, from the French bachelier, which is derived from the latin baccalaureus, a laurel berry.These students were not allowed to marry, lest the duties of husband and father should take them from their literary pursuits; and in time, all single men were called bachelors.’” An amusing story comes in his treatment of Lombardy poplar. in volume III: “These examples may serve to show how easy it is, by means of the Lombardy poplar, to destroy the harmony of its different parts. In short, the Lombardy poplar, like the weeping willow and birch, is a most dangerous tree in the hands of a planter who has not considerable knowledge and good taste in the composition of landscape.” (Taken from the Huntington copy, 2nd ed., 1854; also detailed in Christina Wood, 1994. ‘“A Most dangerous Tree”: The Lombardy Poplar in Landscape Gardening’, Arnoldia 54(1):24-30)

1834 In studying the nature of wood alcohol, Jean-Baptiste Dumas and Eugene Peligot determined it was composed of a single-carbon-hydrogen radical combined with water (the hydroxy group, -OH). They introduced the word “methylene” for this chemical group, creating the word by combining methy (Greek for alcoholic liquid) and hyle (Greek for woodland, or forest). (Wikipedia, 2019) Wood alcohol has been produced for centuries, through pyrolysis and distillation of wood chips in water. A wood alcohol fraction is generated as the wood breaks down when the mixture is maintained at 78.3 ºC.

1835 Having returned to London from nearly a decade of living, working, and collecting plants in Mexico and California, Thomas Coulter sorted through his notes and specimens. Early in this year, he loaned cones he had collected to botanist David Don. In June, Don read a paper detailing five new pine species. from Coulter’s collections. Among those new species was Pinus coulteri, of which Don notes: “The leaves are longer and broader than those of any other Pine, and the cones which grow singly are the largest of all, being more than a foot long, half a foot in diameter, and weighing about four pounds… At the suggestion of Mr. Lambert I have applied to this remarkable tree the name of itsdiscoverer, who is no less distinguished for his scientific acquirements than from the excellent qualities of his mind.” (Nelson and Probert,1994)

1835 Hugh Cuming commenced a 4-year trip to the Philippines. He was probably the first person to ship living orchids successfully from Manila to England. Plants he sent included Phalaenopsis amabilis, first grown at Chatsworth. Cuming distributed 130,000 herbarium specimens.

1835 Hugo von Mohl reported that cells in Cladophora glomerata divide to generate new cells.

1835 John Gibson accompanied Lord Auckland to India, via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro,and the Cape of Good Hope. He arrived in Calcutta in March 1836 with plants from Auckland destined for Calcutta Botanical Garden Director, Nathaniel Wallich. Gibson also collected in the Khasia Hills (Chirra Poongee), dispatching his plants through Wallich to England.

1835 Ludwig Clamor. Marquart published his Die Farben der Blüthen, Eine chemischphysiologische Abhandlung, in which introduced the term “anthocyanin” for blue, violet, and red pigments in flowers. He also created the term anthoxanthin for color in yellow flowers. (Onslow, 1925)

1835 British farmers began to import guano from the coast of Peru. Guano deposits became a significant manure/fertilizer source until after 1870. (Mingay, 1977)

1835 Hilliard, Gray, & Co., in Boston, published the first American (English) edition of John Antony Chaptal’s Chymistry Applied to Agriculture, which was a post-mortem translation of the second French edition (the 1st edition was published in France in 1823). Chaptal gave appropriate credit to Humphrey Davy, for establishing this field of study in his 1813 publication Elements of Agricultural Chemistry. The publishers of Antony’s lectures explain: “The author, one of the most eminent chymists of the age, was at the same time a practical agriculturist, owning large estates, which were for a long time cultivated under his personal direction. ‘In order,’ he says, ‘ to make a useful application of the sciences to agriculture, it must be profoundly studied, not only in the closet, but abroad in the fields. The celebrated Davy has already published an Agricultural Chymistry, and I have derived from it important principles. Others will do better than we have done’”  This is a wonderful read, and worth downloading. Chaptal’s first chapter (lecture) on the atmosphere is incredibly engaging, and tells us all about the state of understanding at the time. By his death in 1833, the composition of the atmosphere was well-understood, with known proportions of nitrogen (which he calls Azote), Oxygen, and Carbon Dioxide (his Carbonic acid). His explanation of gas exchange with plants is concise and lucid. “Oxygen and azote constitute, essentially, the atmosphere, since when the two other principles (carbon dioxide and water) are separated from it, it still retains nearly all its characters of form, elasticity, etc. It however loses its most important powers of influencing vegetation; so that all the substances found in the atmosphere are necessary to the production and renewal of the phenomena which the three kingdoms present us.” Most interestingly, at this time scientists (remember Chaptal is a chemist) still believed the oxygen released from plants comes from carbon dioxide: “Carbonic acid is constantly absorbed and decomposed by the leaves of plants. The carbon is appropriated by the plants to their own support, and the oxygen is thrown out into the atmosphere.” Additionally, the information on soils gives great credence to the abundance of aluminum in soils and bedrock, and its potential value to plants. We know, today,that aluminum is toxic to plants, and not incorporated into plant tissue. (from Antony, 1835, Source: Digital Archive,, original from Library of Congress) [see also TL, 1785 BenjaminFranklin]

1833 Dr. Rush Nutt (Laurel Hill Plantation, Rodney, Mississippi) introduced his Petit Gulf cotton strain, as a result of his active selection techniques that quickly became core to varietal improvement. Nutt and his son became part of a widespread community of farmers engaged in cotton improvement. By 1860, cotton was actively bred and selected.

1836 Chatsworth conservatory construction was begun, to be completed in 1840. Measuring 272 x 66 ft (83 x 20m), the conservatory was designed and built by Paxton with the help of Decimus Burton (architect).

1837 Theodor Hartig was the first to characterize and name sieve tube elements. These are the living cells in phloem tissue that physically move photosynthate (sugars) from one location to another in a plant (from the site of production in a leaf to a sink such as a growing root, for example). (Wikipedia, 2015)

1837 In reference to tropical orchids, and particularly concerning Cattleya labiata, Gardner wrote: “The progress of cultivations (for coffee plantations, and wood for charcoal) is proceeding so rapidly for twenty miles around Rio, that many of the species which still exist will, in the course of a few years, be completely annihilated, and the botanists of future years who visit the country will look in vain for the plants collected by their predecessors.” (Reinikka, 1972)

1837 Robert Schomburgk discovered Victoria regia in British Guiana (name later changed to Victoria amazonica). Early shipments of seed were not successful, until Paxton grew and flowered the plant in a heated tank of the tropical house at Chatsworth in 1849. The entire January 1847 issue of Botanical Magazine was dedicated to this waterlily.

1837 Illinois blacksmith John Deere melded a steel share to a moldboard of wrought-iron to create a plow that cut the prairie soils. Deere’s plows became the prairie standard. (Fussell, 1992)

1837 Gladiolus dalenii, from Natal, was introduced to breeding programs for these corm producing plants in Belgium. Prior to this introduction, an early line of hybrids, the Colvilles, had developed from London Nurseryman James Colville. Subsequent to arrival of G. dalenii, yet other species were brought into the mix. By the end of the 19th century complex gladiolus hybrids involving several species had been created. The Grandiflora line of glads was developed largely in North America, beginning in 1891 with work of John. L. Childs. In 1904, a yellow form of G. dalenii (calledGladiolus primulinus at that time) allowed growers to expand the color range of flowers beyond orange, red, and violet. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1838 The new viceroy in Canton, China destroyed the British East India Company’sillegal opium imports, a total of 2,640,000 pounds. Britain went to war with China, winning Hong Kong, trade concessions, and loot. (Lewis & Elvin-Lewis, 1977)

1838 Charles M. Hovey introduced a strawberry grown from seed produced by hybridization. This ‘Hovey’ strawberry is considered the first fruit variety that originated through breeding on the North American continent.

1838 John Wright Boott, Boston, MA, received the first recorded shipment of tropical orchids to the US. However, other Bostonians were known to have tropical orchids in cultivation by this year. Boott’s collection went to John Lowell, eventually into the hands of Edward Rand. When Rand sold his estate, around 1865, the orchid and tropical plant collection was given to Harvard College (to Cambridge Botanic Garden.) (Reinikka, 1972)

1838 French chemist Anselme Payer isolated, described, and named cellulose.(Kurlandsky, 2016; Wikipedia , 2018). Cellulose, considered the world’s most abundant macromolecule, for centuries cellulose had been critical to manufacture of papers (such as papyrus and mulberry bark). The term relates to words used for sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose) by adopting the “ose” suffix, as appended to the basic word “cell.” This is perfectly suitable since cellulose strands are made of tens of thousands of beta-1,4-linked glucose molecules. The American Chemical Society presents its annual Anselme Payer Award for work in cellulose and renewable materials.

1839 Emperor Tao-kuangsent Lin Tse-hsu to Canton to resolve the opium problem. Lin addressed a letter to Queen Victoria which included the petition: “Even though the barbarians may not necessarily intend to do us harm, yet in coveting profit to an extreme, they have no regard for injuring others. Let us ask, where is your conscience? I have heard that the smoking of opium is very strictly forbidden by your country; that isbecause the harm caused by opium is clearly understood. Since it is not permitted to do harm in your own country, then even less should you let it be passed on to the harm of other countries.” (Filan,2011)

1839 Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward described his Wardian Case in Gardener’s Magazine. (Fletcher, 1969) This work was subsequently expanded and published as a book. [see 1842]

1839 Charles Goodyear discovered vulcanization, the heat driven process of combining sulphur with natural rubber. The cross-linking of molecular chains (isoprene units) makes rubber non-sticky, more durable, and more elastic. (Simpson, 1989) Vulcanization changed life in Brasil, causing a rubber boom, with exports rising from 31 tons in 1827 to more than 27,000 tons by 1900. Manaus became a cosmopolitan city. [See 1823, 1877, 1881] (Ponting, 1991)

1839 Salicylic acid (chemically related to salicin, the pain-relieving compound named for its source, Salix, i.e. willow) was isolated from yet another source, the flowerbuds of Filipendula ulmaria (at that time called Spiraea ulmaria), a European member of the rose family. In 1853 a number of synthetically prepared derivatives of this compound were prepared, one of which was acetylsalicylic acid. Years later The Bayer Company selected that chemical as a substitute for the commonly used salicylic acid, and named it “aspirin” by combining the letter “a” from acetyl and “spirin” from Spiraea. (Lewis & Elvin-Lewis, 1977) Sanecki (1992) elaborates by explaining that the original plant, called meadowsweet in English, is termed Spirinsaure in German. Sanecki dates the original isolation to 1838 and the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid in 1899.

1839 Prickly pear was introduced to Australia for use as hedging. By 1925 over 60,000,000 acres of Australian land were infested, and prickly pear dominated the vegetation in nearly half that area. Control came eventually in the form of South American caterpillars that feed on the plant. (Ponting, 1991)

1839 Chevalier coined the word “microtome” (l’instrument microtomique”) for the many kinds of devices used to make thin sections in microscopy. Adolf Orschatz (assistant to Jan Evangelista Purkynë) used the term for his new device in 1843. English-speaking microscopists had called these cutting engines. In 1868, Rivet introduced a wooden microtome that worked on the sliding principle still in use today. (Smith, 1915)

1840 The Opium Wars ended mandarin control of British trade with China, followed by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. This treaty ceded Hong Kong to the British and opened numerous ports to Europeans and Americans. Under an 1858 treaty,foreigners could travel anywhere in the interior of the empire. [See 1997] (Spongberg, 1990)

1840 In the years before paper was manufactured from wood pulp, Isaiah Deck wrote that the increasing demand for paper (at that time made from cotton or linen rags) could be met through recycling Egyptian mummies – each of which provided up to 30 lbs of linen wrapping. Twenty years later I. A. Stanwood of Gardiner, Maine acted on this proposal by importing mummies for manufacturing brown wrapping paper. In Egypt mummies were being used to fuel railroad engines. (Rupp, 1990)

1840 Friedrich Keller patented a wood grinding machine that promoted the use of wood pulp for papermaking. Within 30 years, experimentation with wood pulp paper extended to such short-lived products as coffins, horseshoes, and road surfaces. (Rupp, 1990 – which see for more detail)

1840 John Dresser (Stockbridge, Massachusetts) devised a hand powered veneer lathe. Thin sheets of wood are used for creating finished surfaces as well as in the manufactureof plywood, but they must be shaved or sawed from the original block. Dresser’s lathe pointed the way to mechanization of this process, leading to the commercial manufacture of plywood. (Connor, 1994)

1840 The Gould medicinal plant business began in Maldin, Massachusetts. Run by three generations of the Gould family, their botanic garden was at one time as large as 8 acres, employing (along with the associated herb and drug factory) greater than fifty people. Products, such as catnip tea, were sold under their own label, but the Goulds also supplied botanicals to various makers of medicines, such as the Lydia Pinkham Company. (Connor, 1994)

1840 Justus von Liebig published Organic Chemistry in Its Applications to Agriculture and Physiology, in which he summarizes experiments in ashing (burning) plants to examine which minerals are present in what concentrations. His results showed that nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (present in today’s commercial fertilizers as N:P:K) are important constituents of plants, helping to explain why saltpeter (sodium nitrate) and guano (deposits of bird droppings) augment agricultural production. (Schwarcz, 2005)

1840 In writing to his brother Robert, Thomas Coulter explains negotiations with Trinity College related to his collections and future: “My arrangement with College is briefly this – I make over to them by deed my whole herbarium, a pre gift, and they make me curator of it with Fellows chambers and commons (worth abt £40 pounds a year) and £100 cash per ann. for the present, to be made £300 (per annum) on the death of Dr. Stokes. So far all right, but they would insist on another condition, which as it happens is not a disagreeable one, but which you must keep to yourself – it is that I must accept the chair of Botany when vacant if they elect me – very hard! isn’t it?” (Nelson and Probert,1994)

1841 Orlando Jones patented a treatment for starch extraction in rice which involved treating kernels with caustic alkali. The same process was eventually applied to production of wheat and corn starches. (Personal Communication from I. Ellis, see U.S. Patent Office Website, Patent #2000, 12 March 1941)

1841 Kew Gardens was transferred to the British government. William Jackson Hooker became the first director.

1841 Physician/botanist William Darlington proposed botanic gardens as part of the Smithsonian Institution: “when nearly every crowned head in the civilized world had taken care to found such noble institutions as botanic gardens, (why) should not the classic pillars of our Republican fabric be wreathed with the chaplets of Science and festooned with the garlands of taste?…And while the Frenchman justly glories in the Jardin des Plantes – while the Briton boasts with reason, of the royal Garden at Key; and even the Russian, in his frozen clime is warmed in admiration of the Imperial Conservatory of the Czars – let American freemen, in their turn be enabled to point with patriotic pride, to a National institution of no less beauty and value, at the Metropolis of their own favored land. While at colleges they teach the various branches of knowledge, here at the common center of the Republic, we should have the entire Tree, in perennial verdure, accessible to all who might desire to participate in its pleasures and benefits.” (O’Malley, in Meyers, 1998) [See 1818]

1841 Secretary of War, Joel Poinsett, ordered that the collections of the Wilkes Expedition be sent to Washington, as part of his work to establish a cabinet of natural history through a National Institution for the Promotion of Science. In line with receiving benefit of the Smithson bequest, the group continued in the vein of the earlier Columbian Institute. A statement of goals seemed eerily modern: “to collect documents and facts illustrative of the early history of our country, specimens of its geology and of its mineral and vegetable productions, and if not to preserve the animals and plants themselves, which are passith away before the progress of settlement and cultivation, at least to perpetuate their forms and the memory of their existence.” (O’Malley, in Meyers, 1998) [See 1818] Specimens from the Wilkes Expedition yielded the beautiful Christmas poinsettia, now called Euphorbia pulcherrima, but originally named Poinsettia pulcherrima in honor of Joel Poinsett.

1841 Gardener’s Chronicle began publication with J. Lindley as horticultural editor.

1841 Andrew Jackson Downing published his Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening Adapted to North America – the most influential early American treatment of this subject. Downing died in a steamboat accident in 1852. (Adams in Punch, 1992) [See 1850]

1841 Having arrived in California (still territory of Mexico) by wagon train from Pennsylvania, William Wolfskill planted a 2-acre orange grove, the first commercial grove in the area. By 1877, his son Joseph was able to ship a railcar filled with navel oranges to St. Louis, and in 1866 the Wolfskill orchards sent an entire trainload of oranges to markets in the Eastern US. A rush of investment led to the planting of thousands of acres to citrus in the Los Angeles area, all of which came to a crashing end by 1890 when land values, the impacts of overproduction, and arrival of white scale from Australia led to abandonment of many groves, including those the Wolfskills had made so successful. (Laszlo, 2007)

1842 Nathaniel B. Ward published On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases.

1842 Matthias J. Schleiden, and, in 1847, Theodor Schwann synthesized their own observations along with known information to reach a reasonable understanding of plant and animal cell structure. Their work established the theory that the cell is the basic unitof all life, helping to establish the fundamental concepts that underlie the general study of biology.(HNT)

1842 John Bennet Lawes and his assistant J. H. Gilbert began manufacture of superphosphate, the first chemical fertilizer, in Deptford, England. The process involved chemical treatment of coprolites, as well as fossilized organic material mined in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Eventually phosphate rock became the source material. (Mingay,1977)

1842 After the British assault on China, the Treaty of Nanking opened China more fully to trade, required reparations, and ceded Hong Kong to the British government (until 1997, when it was returned to Chinese control). China still refused to legalize opium, and thus a second war was waged and opium was legalized in 1858. (Hohenegger, 2007)

1842 The term “vegetarian” first appeared in print, in an article published in the April issue of The Healthian, one of several journals (along with The New Age) that emerged from England’s short-lived Alcott House Academy and the The Ham (Concordian) School. The Academy had been established by James P. Greaves and named in honor of Amos Bronson Alcott, who briefly led and transformed (even renamed) Boston’s Temple School. Alcott (you have got to check out this guy), an American transcendentalist and educational reformer, also fathered Louisa May Alcott. Wikipedia

1842 John Frémont began a series of five expeditions, which led to his arrival in Alta- California in 1844. Over a period of thirteen years, Frémont would be responsible for significant plant collections leading to designation of nineteen new genera. Included were specimens of Flannelbush, collected on 27 May 1946 and used by botanist John Torrey as the basis for the genus Fremontodendron. (Beidleman, 2006)

1842 The Royal Agricultural College (since 2013, Royal Agricultural University) was established in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England, as the first agricultural college in the English-speaking world. Its initial class of students entered in 1845, the year the college was granted a charter by Queen Victoria. (Wikipedia, 2017)

1842 California vintners had methods to keep birds from devouring their grapes. Captain Phelps (W.D. Phelps, Alta California, 1840-1842) records: “As I passed by the vineyards, I observed that in the middle of each a scaffolding is erected on which an Indian boy is stationed in the morning and remains throughout the day with a hat full of stones and a sling, with which he keeps away the crows and blackbirds who otherwise would destroy half the crop” (Pinney, 2017)

1842 German botanist Gustov Heynhold described the new genus Arabidopsis ((looks like Arabis), including in this genus the diminutive herb Arabidopsis thaliana. That plant had been first-described and named as Pilosella siliquosa by Johannes Thal, from northern Germany’s Harz Mountains in 1577. It was re-christened Arabis thaliana’ in recognition of Thal’ by Linnaeus in his 1753 Species Plantarum. Thal did very well by himself; A thaliana has become the most important model plant ever utilized for botanical investigation. (Willis and Fry, 2014; Wikipedia, 2018)

1843 John Lyons published A Practical Treatise on the Cultivation of Orchidaceous Plants (2nd edition 1845), the first book on orchid culture.

1843 Robert Fortune made the first of four journeys to China (ending in 1860), initially for the Royal Horticultural Society, later for the East India Company (as a result he sent 23,892 young tea plants and 17,000 germinated seedlings to northern India), and finally for the US Government. Never before had so many Chinese plants gotten to England. His success was based greatly on the newly invented Wardian case. Plants he sent included balloon flower, bleeding heart, golden larch, Chinese fringe tree, cryptomeria, hardy orange, abelia, weigela, winter honeysuckle, etc. Tea plants Fortune sent to Washington did not succeed, partly because of the War Between the States. (Spongberg, 1990) [See1846]

1843 Rothamsted Experimental Station (now Rothamsted Research) was established in Hertfordshire by John Bennet Lawes, founder of an early industrial fertilizer firm. Agricultural research continues on the property, making this one of the oldest experimental stations in the world. (Wikipedia, 2015) Between 1843 and 1856, John Bennet Lawes and Joseph Henry Gilbert began several long-term field experiments. Adjustments in sites, methods, and goals are recorded, along with understanding gained from data that havebeen collected, are available from the institutional website…

1843 The first shipment of Peruvian guano arrived in Baltimore, nearly 20 years after receiving wide public notice in an American Farmer article by John Skinner. Guano retained popularity for only two decades. By 1849 the first US manufactured chemical fertilizers were marketed. (Rasmussen, 1960) [See 1881]

1844 John Mercer invented a treatment for cotton that involves stretching the fibers under pressure in a cold bath of caustic soda. Mercerization gives cotton increased sheen and durability, as well as promoting the uptake of dyes. (Simpson, 1989)

1845 In 1841 the Irish population was about 8 million. Estimates are that a working man ate 12-14 pounds of potatoes each day. (Langenheim & Thimann, 1982). Due to an exhausted system of landownership and attenuated tenancy (through subdivision and subletting of leases), by 1845 there are estimated to have been 65,000 Irish farms of an acre or less. On these farms the spade was the only tool and the potato the sole crop. (Zuckerman, 1998) In 1845 potato blight was imported to Europe from the Americas. By 1846 the potato crop in Ireland had totally failed. About 1,000,000 people died and another 1,000,000 emigrated. (Ponting,1991)

1845 William Ransom, a Quaker living in Hertfordshire, England, began his career of cultivating and distilling medicinal herbs, most importantly lavender and peppermint. Eventually, his son Francis would become a partner to establish the firm of William Ransom and Son. (Sanecki, 1992)

1846 Frenchman A. Saint-Arroman chided : “The best tea of the Celestial Empire cannot bear a comparison with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne… The Englishman is naturally lymphatic, stuffed with beefsteaks and plum-pudding, he remains for two hours almost annihilated by the painful elaboration of the stomach… Tea alone can draw him from his lethargic sleep…” (Hohenegger, 2007)

1846 German chemist Christian Schonbein discovered that a mixture of sulfuric acid and saltpeter (usually potassium nitrate) could dissolve cotton fabric, specifically his cotton apron. Moreover, he found that when his apron dried, it exploded. The new, unstable compound proved tantalizing. By 1885, Joseph Swan had tested strands of cellulose nitrate for use as elements in electric light bulbs. (Lewington, 1990) [See 1868]

1846 Hugo von Mohl was the first to apply the term “protoplasm” to cell contents surrounding the nucleus in plants, but the term had been applied to egg white in 1839 by Jan Evangelista Purkynë. von Mohl is known for his expertise in making fresh sections for microscopic study, such that his discoveries were made before botanists adopted advanced techinques, such as aniline stains, embedding, and even permanent mounting. (Smith, 1915)

1846 Robert Fortune delivered plant material (from his first of three China collecting trips) to the Horticultural Society’s gardens at Chiswick. Included was Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine). Though originally cultivated in the glasshouse, the plant proved to be hardy and became a popular garden shrub. (Halliwell, 1987)

1846 William Lobb collected seed of Tropaeolum speciosum, the Flame Creeper, in Nothofagus forest of the south Chilean island of Chiloe. The plant was first grown by the Veitch nursery in Exeter, which had sponsored his trip. Flame Creeper is a close relative of Canary Vine (Tropaeolum peregrinum) and the garden Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)[See 1596], all of which are native to the Neotropics. (Halliwell, 1987)

1847 Chocolate candy was first created. (Levetin & McMahon, 1996) Note: In this year, Fry’s (Bristol, England) began marketing a bar chocolate. There is considerable evidence that chocolate confections existed in the previous century.

1847 The first ancestor of today’s complex hybrid lines of tuberous begonias (today often called Begonia ×tuberhybrida) was imported to Europe from the Bolivian Andes of South America. Plants of this species, Begonia boliviensis, have a trailing habit and brilliant scarlet flowers. Within three decades hybrids were created in nurseries around Europe. By 1882 a double-flowered cultivar had been created. (Grimshaw, 1998)

1847 Organized in Macon County, Alabama on 6 March, the Chunnenuggee Horticultural Society was the first gardening club formed in Alabama, and perhaps first in the entire region. The society was a reflection of new settlement on Chunnenuggee Ridge (near the town of Union Springs, AL today) by many families from more eastern states who arrived following Creek Cession in 1832. Among settlers and active members was Norborne Berkley Powell, a physician, who built his home and garden, Old Field, on the site of the former Indian War Council Lodge. The Society maintained a public garden for truck crop sales and sponsored a May Fair and flower festival. The community and society flourished for a time (until the War Between the States); through the contacts of local residents there were honorary members from other towns in the South, and as distant as New York. (M.B. Sulzby in Slosson, 1951)

1847 Pharmacology emerged as a scientific profession with establishment of a chair for Rudolf Buchheim at the University of Dorpat (Estonia). (Wikipedia and thetimeline, a brief history of Pharmacology, by Stanley Scheindlin,

1847 The Vegetarian Society was organized in England, as an outgrowth of the Alcott House Academy. Wikipedia [See 1842]

1848 Robert Fortune, of the Royal Horticultural Society, was sent to China to collect plants and seed, and to learn as much as possible about tea cultivation and processing. After two journeys and nearly three years of work in China, a ship sailed from Hong Kong to Calcutta in 1851. (Hohenegger,2007)

1848 In Bangor, Maine, John Curtis produced the first commercial spruce gum – a chewing gum made of resin from spruce trees. By 1852 the Curtises had built a large chewing gum factory in Portland. As supplies of spruce gum diminished, manufacturers tried other chewables, such as paraffin, eventually turning to the latex from the chicle tree (Manilkara zapota.) Chicle became the basis of the American Chicle Company, and for their product, Chicklets. (Rupp, 1990)

1849 William Lobb was sent to the Pacific coast of America by Veitch & Sons to collect plants for the horticultural trade.

1849 Chauncey Enoch Goodrich raised his first crop of seedling potatoes from stock he had imported from Chile (at a cost of $200). Goodrich (a minister by profession)dedicated decades of his life to developing new potato selections for American farmers, hoping to resolve disease issues which had caused famines. The cultivars ‘Garnet Chile’ and ‘Early Rose’ came out of his program and gave rise to important selections. A set of articles (two by Goodrich, one a biography by John P. Gray,and the fourth a Report on his seedling potatoes by B. P. Johnson of the Executive Committee) are available in the 1864 Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, Transactions of the New YorkAgricultural Society.Vol 23, pages 89-143.. Available through G**gleBooks)

1849 Charles Parry began his productive two years of plant collecting in San Diego, as part of the Western Boundary Survey. Parry collected and named California’s Torrey Pine, which proved (at the time) to be one of the world’s rarest pines. (Beidleman, 2006)

1849 Joseph Warren arrived in California. With extensive experience managing a Massachusetts nursery, he became one of the earliest nurserymen in California, and the first large grower of camellias in the state. Warren is credited with starting the Sacramento flower show,in 1852, and assisting with the San Francisco flower shows of 1853 and 1854. (H. M. Butterfield in Slosson,1951)

1849 Studying cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), F. S. Morot reported his isolation of the chemical that gives blue color to the petals. The general name for the chemical became anthocyanin. Look up Cornflower in the WWW for an account of its interesting symbolism and use. (King, 2011)

1849 On 9 November, Joseph Paxton, Gardener to William Spencer Cavendish, and his staff flowered Victoria amazonica at Chatsworth. The seed had been delivered to Paxton by William Hooker, Director of Kew, whose staff had successfully germinated about 50 seed delivered in March. Flowering was regarded as a horticultural triumph, the first time this South American native plant had been cultivated and flowered successfully. (Aniśko, 2013)

1849 Heinrich Richard Göppert and Ferdinand Cohn, while studying Nitella flexilis, introduced cochineal-derived carmine staining techniques to plant microtechnique. “Of the natural dyes used by cytologist, none was more esteemed than carmine.” (Clark & Kasten, 1983)

“History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive. It knows the names of the kings’ bastards but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. This is the way of human folly.”
J. H. Fabre


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Grimshaw, John, 1998. The Gardener’s Atlas, Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55209-226-7, Buffalo, NY, 224 pp.

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WWW: USDA, Agricultural Research Service – ARS Timeline

WWW: (University of California Santa Cruz University Library) – Timeline: Cultivating a Movement, An Oral History Series on Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture on California’s Central Coast.                                                                                The Online Authority on Rice

OTHER TIMELINES: The History of Wheat.

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