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Plant Hunters with Constance Carter
Constance Carter

Meet Constance Carter, Head, Science Reference Section, Science, Technology & Business Division, Library of Congress.

Constance Carter, Head of the Science Reference Section, Library of Congress, describes the work of the intrepid group of scientists from the U.S. and beyond who traveled the world collecting plants to enrich botanical knowledge and their nations’ gardens.

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Library of Congress Web Sites of Interest

Library of Congress Online Catalog
http://catalog.loc.gov/
To search for materials on plant hunters, select Browse, and use the following subject headings:  plant collectors history; plant collecting historyplant introduction history

Science Tracer Bullets Online: Plant Exploration and Introduction
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/tracer-bullets/plantexploration.html

Other Web Sites of Interest

Archives Research Guide: Sources for the History of Plant Hunters 18th to 20th Centuries
http://www.kew.org/files/Sources for Plant Hunters .doc [MS Word] External Link
A nine-page guide from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, listing their archival holdings.

Bartram’s Garden
http://www.bartramsgarden.org External Link
John Bartram, an early American plant hunter who explored much of the Southern colonies, sold plants to the Founding Fathers and to European gardeners.  His house and garden are located in Philadelphia and open to the public.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
http://www.fairchildgarden.org External Link
Dr. David Fairchild (1869-1954) traveled the world in search of useful plants. This garden was founded to nurture plant diversity; some of the plants he collected are still growing in the garden. The 83-acre garden is open to the public.

National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS)
http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs External Link
NPGS is a cooperative effort by the federal and state governments and private organizations to preserve the genetic diversity of plants.

Plant Hunters
http://www.nybg.org/planthunters External Link
New York Botanical Garden’s interactive teaching tool providing interesting information on plants from all over the world—giving users a chance to be “plant hunters.”

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Other Materials of Interest

Print Sources on Plant Hunting: Pre-1923

Barron, Leonard.  “Chinese Wilson—Plant Hunter.”  World’s Work 27 (Nov. 1913): 41-52.
LC call number:  AP4.W85
http://lccn.loc.gov/88646010

Bigelow, John.  Memoir of the Life and Public Services of John Charles Frémont.  New York: Derby & Jackson, 1856.
LC call number:  E415.9.F8 B5 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/10029632

Clark, Edward B.  “Plant Hunter in the Wilds.”  Technical World Magazine 15 (July 1911): 519-24.
LC call number:  T1.T12
http://lccn.loc.gov/05023263

Darlington, William.  Memorials of John Bartram and Humphry Marshall, with Notices of Their Botanical Contemporaries.  Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1849.
LC call number:  QK31.B3 D3
http://lccn.loc.gov/05026676

Douglas, David.  Journal Kept by David Douglas during His Travels in North America, 1823-1827.  London: W. Wesley, 1914.
LC call number:  QK110.D7 RBK
http://lccn.loc.gov/15009721

Fairchild, David. “A Hunter of Plants: Frank Nicholas Meyer, 1875-1918.” National Geographic 36 (July 1919): 57-77.
LC call number:  G1.N27
http://lccn.loc.gov/14007038

———.  “New Plant Immigrants.”  National Geographic 22 (Oct. 1911): 879-907.
LC call number: G1.N27
http://lccn.loc.gov/14007038

———.  “Our Plant Immigrants.”  National Geographic 17 (Apr. 1906): 179-201.
LC call number:  G1.N27
http://lccn.loc.gov/14007038

———. Systematic Plant Introduction: Its Purposes and Methods.  Washington: Government Printing Office, 1898.
LC call number:  SB109.F2
http://lccn.loc.gov/agr09000399

Forman, Samuel Eagle.  The Life and Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Including All of His Important Utterances on Public Questions, Comp. from State Papers and from His Private Correspondence.  Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1900. 
LC call number:  E332.F72 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/00004704

Forrest, George.  “The Perils of Plant Collecting.”  Pts. 1 and 2. Gardeners’ Chronicle 47 (1910): 325-26; 344.
LC call number:  SB4.G3
http://lccn.loc.gov/57016385

Fortune, Robert.  A Journey to the Tea Countries of China, Including Sung-Lo and the Bohea Hills with a Short Notice of the East India Company’s Tea Plantations in the Himalaya Mountains.  London: J. Murray, 1852.
LC call number:  DS709.F75
http://lccn.loc.gov/04032956

———.  A Residence among the Chinese; Inland, on the Coast, and at Sea.  London: J. Murray, 1857.
LC call number: Microfilm 9543 DS
http://lccn.loc.gov/04032949

Frémont, John Charles.  The Life of Col. John Charles Frémont, and His Narrative of Explorations and Adventures in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon and California.  The Memoir of Samuel M. Smucker. . . .  New York: Hurst & Co., 1881.
LC call number:  F592.F88
http://lccn.loc.gov/10030636

———.  Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the years 1843-44.  New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1848.
LC call number:  F592.F864 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/02009580

———.  Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842, and to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-44.  By Brevet Capt. J. C. Frémont, under the Orders of Col. J. J. Abert, Chief of the Topographical Bureau.  Printed by Order of the House of Representatives.  Washington: Blair and Rives, 1845.
LC call number:  F592.F83 RBK
http://lccn.loc.gov/rc01001834

Gass, Patrick.  Gass’s Journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, by Sergeant Patrick Gass, One of the Persons Employed in the Expedition.  Reprinted from the Edition of 1811, with Facsimiles of the Original Title-Page and the Five Original Illustrations, a Reproduction of a Rare Portrait of Gass, and a Map of the Lewis and Clark Route.  Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1904. 
LC call number:  F592.5.G2 1904
http://lccn.loc.gov/04027369

Lewis, Meriwether.  History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark to the Sources of the Missouri, Thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the River Columbia to the Pacific Ocean: Performed During the Years 1804-5-6 by Order of the Government of the United States.  A Complete Reprint of the Biddle Ed. of 1814, to Which All the Members of the Expedition Contributed, with an Account of the Louisiana Purchase by John Back McMaster, and Notes upon the Route.  New York: Allerton Book Co., 1922.
LC call number:  F592.4 1922
http://lccn.loc.gov/a23002054

———.  Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806; Printed from Original Manuscripts in the Library of the American Philosophical Society and by the Direction of Its Committee on Historical Documents, Together with Manuscript Material of Lewis and Clark from Other Sources, Including Note-books, Letters, Maps, etc., and the Journals of Charles Floyd and Joseph Whitehouse, Now for the First Time Published in Full and Exactly as Written.  8 vols.  New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1904-5.
LC call number:  F592.4 1904 Nt
http://lccn.loc.gov/04033237

———.  Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean.  Performed by Order of the Government of the United States, in the Years 1804, 1805, and 1806.  By Captains Lewis and Clarke.  Published from the Official Report, and Illustrated by a Map of the Route, and Other Maps.  A New Ed. in Three Volumes.  3 vols.  London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1817.
LC call number:  F92.4 1817L
http://lccn.loc.gov/tmp92006845

London Genuine Tea Company.  The History of the Tea Plant.  London: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones for the London Genuine Tea Company, [1819?].
LC call number:  SB271.L8
http://lccn.loc.gov/43043604

Meyer, Frank N.  “China: A Fruitful Field for Plant Exploration.”  Yearbook of Agriculture (1915): 205-24.
LC call number: S21.A35 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/86659523

Pieters, A. J. “The Business of Seeds and Plant Introduction and Distribution.”  Yearbook of Agriculture (1905): 291-306.
LC call number:  S21.A35 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/86659523

Rothrock, Joseph T., Sereno Watson, George Engelmann, Thomas C. Porter, M. S. Bebb, William Boott, George Vasey, D. C. Eaton, Thomas P. James, and Edward Tuckerman.  Reports upon the Botanical Collections Made in Portions of Nevada, Utah, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, during the Years 1871, 1872, 1874, and 1875.  Washington: Government Printing Office, 1878.
LC call number:  QE74.W6 vol. 6
http://lccn.loc.gov/03026073

Sargent, Charles Sprague, ed.  Plantae Wilsonianae: An Enumeration of the Woody Plants Collected in Western China for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University during the Years 1907, 1908, and 1910, by E. H. Wilson.  3 vols.  Cambridge, Mass.: The University Press, 1913-17.
LC call number:  QK490.C6 S3
http://lccn.loc.gov/13015888

Torrey, John.  “Plantae Fremontianae; or Descriptions of Plants Collected by Col. J. C. Frémont in California.” Smithsonian Contributions of Knowledge. 6, art. 2 (1854): 1-24.  (“Incorrectly numbered vol. V, art. 1.”)
LC call number:  Q11.S68 vol. 6
http://lccn.loc.gov/s13000027

Ward, N. B. On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases.  2nd ed.  London: J. Van Voorst, 1862.
LC call number: Microfilm 32123 SB
http://lccn.loc.gov/11033954

Wilson, Owen. “Travels of a Plant Hunter in China.”  World’s Work 18 (June 1909): 11670-84.
LC call number: AP4 .W85
http://lccn.loc.gov/88646010

Print Sources on Plant Hunting: Post-1923

Beidelman, Richard G“David Douglas in Pursuit of Plants.”  Horticulture 47 (Feb. 1968): 30-33, 49, 59.
LC call number:  SB1.H86
http://lccn.loc.gov/06031132

Burton, Walter E.  “Treasure Hunters Comb Earth for Priceless Plants.”  Popular Science Monthly 121 (Aug. 1932): 34-35, 112.
http://lccn.loc.gov/92642492

Cowan, J. M., ed.  The Journeys and Plant Introductions of George Forrest, V. M. H.  London: Oxford University Press for the Royal Horticultural Society, 1952.
LC call number:  SB109.C67
http://lccn.loc.gov/53030430

Creech, John L. “Expeditions for New Horticultural Plants.”  Arnoldia 26 (Sept. 23, 1966): 49-53.
LC call number:  QK479.A7
http://lccn.loc.gov/44039415

Cunningham, Isabel Shipley.  Frank N. Meyer, Plant Hunter in Asia.  Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1984.
Bibliography: 291-305.
LC call number:  SB63.M55 C86 1984
http://lccn.loc.gov/83012920

Cutright, Paul Russell.  Lewis and Clark: Pioneering Naturalists.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989.  First published 1969 by the University of Illinois Press.
Bibliography: 457-68.
LC call number:  F592.7.C87 1989
http://lccn.loc.gov/88038522

Dalton, David A.  The Natural World of Lewis and Clark.  Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008.
Bibliographical references: 229-40.
LC call number:  QH104.5.W4 D35 2008
http://lccn.loc.gov/2007024967

Douglas, David.  Douglas of the Forests: The North American Journals of David Douglas. Ed. John Davies.  Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1980.
Bibliography: 189.
LC call number:  QK31.D6 A32 1980
http://lccn.loc.gov/79056367

Fairchild, David.  Exploring for Plants, by David Fairchild; from Notes of the Allison Vincent Armour Expeditions for the United States Department of Agriculture, 1925, 1926, and 1927.  New York: The Macmillan Co., 1930.
LC call number:  SB109.F18
http://lccn.loc.gov/30016581

———.  The World Was My Garden: Travels of a Plant Explorer.  London: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1938.
LC call number:  SB63.F3 A3
http://lccn.loc.gov/38027857

[Fairchild, David.]  “The Corsican Citron (Citrus medica, Linn.).”  With cover title “Manuscript (presumably unpublished) found in David Fairchild’s papers held by Fairchild Tropical Garden archives.  October 1993.”  Unpublished manuscript, David Fairchild Collection, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Archive. 

Farney, Dennis.  “Meet the Men Who Risked Their Lives to Find New Plants.”  Smithsonian 11 (June 1980): 128-30, 132, 134, 136, 138-40.
LC call number:  AS30.S6
http://lccn.loc.gov/71019427

Farrington, Edward Irving.  Ernest H. Wilson, Plant Hunter; With a List of His Most Important Introductions and Where to Get Them.  Boston, The Stratford Co., 1931.
LC call number:  QK31.W55 F3
http://lccn.loc.gov/32001998

Frémont, John Charles.  The Crossing of the Sierra Nevada in the Winter of 1843-44; Report of the Exploring Expedition to Oregon and North California in the Years 1843-‘44.  Edited from United States Senate Document no. 174, by Bob Graham.  Rev. ed.  Sacramento: B. Graham, 2001.
LC call number:  F868.S5 F74 2001
http://lccn.loc.gov/2002279073

Fry, Carolyn.  The Plant Hunters.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. 
Includes pockets with additional materials.
LC call number:  QK61.F79 2013 SCIRR
http://lccn.loc.gov/2013012418

Gardener, William.  “Robert Fortune and the Cultivation of Tea in the United States.”  Arnoldia 31 (Jan. 15, 1971): 1-18.
LC call number:  QK479.A7
http://lccn.loc.gov/44039415

Gollner, Adam.  The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession.  New York: Scribner, 2008.
Bibliographical references: 266-71.
LC call number:  SB354.8.G65 2008
http://lccn.loc.gov/2007042423

Gribbin, Mary, and John Gribbin.  Flower Hunters.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 
Bibliographical references: 312-16.
LC call number:  QK26.G75 2008
http://lccn.loc.gov/2007050221

Gunderson, Mary.  The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark: Recipes for an Expedition.  Yankton, S.D.: History Cooks, 2003.
Bibliographical references: 152-54.
LC call number:  TX715.2.W47 G875 2003
http://lccn.loc.gov/2002096191

Harvey, Athelstan George.  Douglas of the Fir: A Biography of David Douglas, Botanist.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1947.
Bibliography: 261-75.
LC call number:  QK31.D6 H3
http://lccn.loc.gov/47011867

Knapp, Sandra.  Plant Discoveries: A Botanist’s Voyage through Plant Exploration.  Buffalo: Firefly Books, 2003.
Bibliographical references: 330-31.
LC call number:  QK50.K99 2003 fol. SCIRR
http://lccn.loc.gov/2004295077

Jefferson, Thomas.  The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Vol. 32. Ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.
LC call number:  E302.J442 1950a vol. 32
http://lccn.loc.gov/50007486

Lemmon, Kenneth.  The Golden Age of Plant Hunters.  London: Phoenix House, 1968.
Bibliography: 219-20.
LC call number:  QK61.L44
http://lccn.loc.gov/68112028

Lewis, Meriwether, et al.  The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Ed. Gary E. Moulton and Thomas W. Dunlay. 13 vols. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983-2000.
LC call number: F592.4 1983
http://lccn.loc.gov/82008510

Lindsay, Ann.  Seeds of Blood and Beauty:  Scottish Plant Collectors.  Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2008.
Bibliographical references: 301-5.
LC call number:  QK26.L56 2008
http://lccn.loc.gov/2009379440

Lyte, Charles.  The Plant Hunters.  London: Orbis, 1983.
Bibliography: 186-87.
LC call number:  QK26.L9 1983
http://lccn.loc.gov/83199910

McLean, Brenda.  George Forrest Plant Hunter.  Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club, in Association with the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 2004.
Bibliographical references: 228.
LC call number:  QK31.F72 M38 2004
http://lccn.loc.gov/2004351840

Martin, Tovah. “Gardening in History: Plant Shipment.”  American Horticulturalist 65 (Feb. 1986): 6-9, 32-33.
LC call number:  SB1.N3
http://lccn.loc.gov/72622069

Morwood, William.   Traveler in a Vanished Landscape: The Life and Times of David Douglas.
New York: C. N. Potter, 1973.
Bibliography: 223-31.
LC call number:  QK31.D6 M67
http://lccn.loc.gov/72080843

Munger, Susan H.  Common to This Country: Botanical Discoveries of Lewis and Clark.  New York: Artisan, 2003. 
Bibliographical references: 126.
LC call number:  QK133.M86 2003
http://lccn.loc.gov/2003052302

Musgrave, Toby, Chris Gardner, and Will Musgrave.  The Plant Hunters: Two Hundred Years of Adventure and Discovery Around the World.  London: Ward Lock, 1998.
Bibliographical references:  218-20.
LC call number: QK21.G7 M88 1998
http://lccn.loc.gov/99178847

Nelmes, Ernest, comp.  Curtis’s Botanical Magazine Dedications, 1827-1927.  London: B. Quaritch for the Royal Horticultural Society, 1931.
LC call number:  QK1.C3
http://lccn.loc.gov/32014061

Scottish Rock Garden Club.  George Forrest, V.M.H., Explorer and Botanist, Who by His Discoveries and Plants Successfully Introduced Has Greatly Enriched Our Gardens: 1873-1932.  Edinburgh: Stoddart & Malcolm, 1935.
LC call number:  QK31.F6 S3
http://lccn.loc.gov/agr36000195

Seymour, William.  “Botanist Explorers of Two Continents.”  History Today 29 (Aug.1979): 497-505.
LC call number:  D1.H818
http://lccn.loc.gov/53039027

Silvey, Anita. The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth.  New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2012.
LC call number:  QK26.S57 1912
http://lccn.loc.gov/2011005161

Stoner, Allan, and Kim Hummer.  “19th and 20th Century Plant Hunters.”  HortScience 42 (Apr. 2007): 197-99.
LC call number:  SB317.5.H675
http://lccn.loc.gov/85644626

Tyler-Whittle, Michael Sidney.  The Plant Hunters, Being an Examination of Collecting; With an Account of the Careers & the Methods of a Number of Those Who Have Searched the World for Wild Plants. Philadelphia: Chilton Book Co., 1970.
Bibliography: 269-72.
LC call number:  QK61.T8 1970
http://lccn.loc.gov/77104717

Tubbs, Stephanie Ambrose, and Clay Straus Jenkinson.  The Lewis and Clark Companion: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Voyage of Discovery.  New York: Henry Holt, 2003.
Bibliographical references:  333-45.
LC call number:  F59.7.T83 2003
http://lccn.loc.gov/2002037992

Washington, George.  The Diaries of George Washington.  Ed. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig.  6 vols.  Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976-79.
LC call number:  E312.8 1976
http://lccn.loc.gov/75041365

Wilson, Ernest Henry.  The Flowering World of “Chinese” Wilson.  Ed. Daniel J. Foley.  New York: Macmillan, [1969].
Bibliography: 323-24.
LC call number:  SB455.W74 1969
http://lccn.loc.gov/69012646

———.  The Lilies of Eastern Asia: A Monograph.  London: Dulau & Co., 1925.
LC call number:  QK495.L72 W5
http://lccn.loc.gov/25019286

———.  Plant Hunting.  Boston: The Stratford Co., 1927.
Contents: vol. 1: Africa, South and Central, Australia and New Zealand; vol. 2: The Tropics, The Orient.
LC call number:  QK101.W5
http://lccn.loc.gov/27015647

Winters, S. R.  “With Uncle Sam’s Plant Hunters.”  Popular Mechanics 45 (Feb. 1926): 259-64.
LC call number:  T1.P77
http://lccn.loc.gov/05034926

Useful Periodicals in the Study of Plant Hunting

Arnoldia.
LC call number:  QK497.A7
http://lccn.loc.gov/44039415

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.
LC call number:  Q1.C9 Landover
http://lccn.loc.gov/87640076

Edinburgh Journal of Botany.
LC call number:  QK1.E3 
http://lccn.loc.gov/90648365

Garden.
LC call number:  SB1.G28
http://lccn.loc.gov/06035430

Gardeners’ Chronicle & Gardening Illustrated.
LC call number:  SB4.G3
http://lccn.loc.gov/57016385

Kew Bulletin.
LC call number:  QK1.K4
http://lccn.loc.gov/52017093

National Geographic Magazine.
LC call number:  G1.N27
http://lccn.loc.gov/14007038

Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
LC call number:  QH1.A2
http://lccn.loc.gov/12030019

Royal Horticultural Society, London.  Journal.
LC call number:  SB4.R8
http://lccn.loc.gov/2006624279

United States. Bureau of Plant Industry.  Bulletin.
LC call number:  QK1.U45
http://lccn.loc.gov/sn86033858

United States. Department of Agriculture.  Miscellaneous Publication.
LC call number:  S21.A46
http://lccn.loc.gov/agr27000747

———.  Technical Bulletin.
LC call number:  S21.A72
http://lccn.loc.gov/agr27000509

———.  Yearbook of Agriculture.
LC call number:  S21.A35 FT MEADE
http://lccn.loc.gov/86659523

United States. Forest Service.  Bulletin.
LC call number:  SD11.A2
http://lccn.loc.gov/agr12000392

United States. Patent Office.  Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents.  Pt.2, Agriculture.
LC call number:  S21.A19
http://lccn.loc.gov/tmp80014307

World’s Work . . . A History of Our Time.
LC call number:  AP2.W8
http://lccn.loc.gov/04012677

Selected Botanical Gardens enriched by Plant Hunters

Most have educational programs for students.

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130
Telephone: 217-524-1718
Website: www.arboretum.harvard.edu External Link

Chicago Botanic Garden
100 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
Telephone: 847-835-5440
Website: www.chicagobotanic.org External Link

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 20 8332 5655
Website: www.kew.org External Link

Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Telephone: 610-388-1000
Website: www.longwoodgardens.org External Link

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Boulevard
St, Louis, MO
Telephone: 314-577-5100
Website: www.missouribotanicalgarden.org External Link

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
Telephone: 718-817-8700
Website: http://www.nybg.org External Link

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Arboretum Place
Edinburgh EH3 5NZ
United Kingdom
Telephone: + 44 131 248 2909
Website: www.rbge.org.uk External Link

United States National Arboretum
3501 New York Avenue NE
Washington, DC, 2002
Telephone: 202-245-2726
Website: www.usna.usda.gov

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