About A Tree And A Man
A notable specimen in our collection is Pinus Wallichiana which is sometimes incorrectly seen in gardens as Pinus Griffithii. This pine has needles in bundles of five which have a distinctive drooping habit. The drooping nature of the leaves is an evolutionary adaption to the snow found at altitudes in Northern India. The tree shape is pyramidal and has a bluish colour and commonly known as the ‘Bhutan Pine’.
Specimens were collected in the Himalayan Foothills by Nathanial Wallich MD, who was a Danish Botanist and medical doctor. He was born in Copenhagen in 1786, the son of a merchant. He sailed for India in 1807.
Wallich found himself imprisoned by the British but was later paroled due to his scholarship.
At a later date he served with the British East India Company as an assistant surgeon to William Roxburgh. He also became an associate of the Royal Horticultural Society and his botanical specimens and herbarium collection became part of the collection at Kew Gardens.
He spent his later years in London at Kew, and died in 1854.
from the series 18th Century Plant Collectors by Robert Kean
Scot Plants Direct at Hedgehogs Nursery, Crompton Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, Fife KY6 2SF