Nathaniel Lord Britton
|Died||June 25, 1934 75) (aged|
|Education||Columbia University School of Mines|
|Known for||Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions, with Addison Brown; The Cactaceae‘‘, with Joseph Nelson Rose|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Gertrude Knight|
|Institutions||Columbia University, New York Botanical Garden|
Nathaniel Lord Britton (January 15, 1859 – June 25, 1934) was an American botanist and taxonomist who co-founded the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, New York.
Britton was born in New Dorp in Staten Island, New York to Jasper Alexander Hamilton Britton and Harriet Lord Turner.His parents wanted him to study religion, but he was attracted to nature study at an early age.
He was a graduate of the Columbia University School of Mines and afterwards taught geology and botany at Columbia University. He joined the Torrey Botanical Club soon after graduation and was a member his entire life. He married Elizabeth Gertrude Knight, a bryologist, on August 27, 1885. They had met when she joined the club and were lifelong collaborators in botanical research.
During their honeymoon in 1888, they visited Kew Gardens, which led to his wife proposing a botanical garden for New York at a Torrey Club meeting. Together, they campaigned to bring about the NYBG. Britton left Columbia in 1895 to become the first director of the New York Botanical Garden, a position he held until 1929. He was on the first Board of Managers for the institution, along with Andrew Carnegie, J. Pierpont Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt II. He engendered substantial financial support for the botanical garden by naming plants after wealthy contributors.
Much of his field work was done in the Caribbean, where he visited frequently when the winter weather in New York City became too severe. His contributions to the study of Caribbean flora are undisputed.
He wrote Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada, and the British Possessions (1896) with Addison Brown, and The Cactaceae with Joseph Nelson Rose.
Britton is also remembered as one of the signatories of the American Code of Botanical Nomenclaturethat proposed such radical changes to the rules governing nomenclature that a compromise was not reached (and some of the principal American provisions adopted) until nearly 30 years later.
He died at his home in the Bronx, after suffering a stroke 9 weeks earlier.
The house he lived and worked in, the Britton Cottage, is preserved at Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island.
The genera Brittonastrum (now a synonym of Agastache Clayton ex Gronov.), Brittonella (a synonym of Mionandra Griseb. ), Brittonamra (which is now a synonym of Coursetia DC.), Brittonia (synonym of Ferocactus Britton & Rose ), and Brittonrosea (a synonym of Echinocactus Link & Otto ) and also Neobrittonia . As well as the botanical journal Brittonia are all named after him.
John Hendley Barnhart contributed a bibliography of all of Britton's works to Biographical memoir of Nathaniel Lord Britton, 1859-1934 authored by Elmer Drew Merrill and presented to the National Academy of Sciences at the annual meeting, 1938.In 1960, Henry A. Gleason published The scientific work of Nathanial Lord Britton, where he summarized and provided commentary on Britton's early botanical activities, botanical organizations, his nomenclatural work, the Illustrated Flora, his leadership of the New York Botanical Garden, his West Indian Flora, his North America Flora, his Flora of Northern South America, his North American Trees, and his monographic work.
Anemonastrum canadense, synonym Anemone canadensis, the Canada anemone, round-headed anemone, round-leaf thimbleweed, meadow anemone, windflower, or crowfoot, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Ranunculaceae. It is native to moist meadows, thickets, streambanks, and lakeshores in North America, spreading rapidly by underground rhizomes. It is valued for its white flowers.
Addison C. Brown was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, a botanist, and a serious amateur astronomer.
Echinacea paradoxa, the yellow coneflower or Bush's purple coneflower, is a North American species of flowering plant in the sunflower family. It is native to southern Missouri, Arkansas, and south-central Oklahoma, with one isolated population reported from Montgomery County in eastern Texas. It is listed as threatened in Arkansas.
Corispermum is a genus of plants in the family Amaranthaceae. Common names given to members of the genus involve bugseed, tickseed, and tumbleweed. In general, these are erect annual plants with flat, thin leaves and topped with inflorescences of flowers with long bracts. Bugseeds are native to North America and Eurasia, but little is known about their taxonomy and distribution.
Cycloloma is a monotypic genus which contains the sole species Cycloloma atriplicifolium, which is known by the common names winged pigweed, tumble ringwing, plains tumbleweed, and tumble-weed. This plant is native to central North America, but it is spreading and has been occasionally reported in far-flung areas from California to Maine to the Canadian prairie. It is considered an introduced species outside of central North America. This is a bushy annual herb forming a rounded pale green clump which may exceed 0.5 m in height. It is very intricately branched, with toothed leaves occurring near the base. The spreading stems bear widely spaced flowers are small immature fruits fringed with a nearly transparent membranous wing. In autumn, the plant forms a tumbleweed. The fruit is a utricle about 2 millimeters long containing a single seed.
Phacelia dubia is an annual forb native to the eastern United States, that produces cream colored or light blue flowers in early spring.
Doellingeria infirma, the cornel-leaf whitetop or cornel-leaved aster, is a perennial forb native to the eastern United States, that produces white composite flowers in late summer.
Sericocarpus linifolius is a perennial forb native to the eastern United States, that produces white composite flowers in summer.
Antennaria plantaginifolia is a perennial forb native to the eastern North America, that produces cream colored composite flowers in spring.
Chaerophyllum procumbens, known by the common names spreading chervil and wild chervil, is an annual forb native to the eastern United States and Canada, which produces small white flowers in spring.
Uvularia perfoliata, the perfoliate bellwort, is a perennial forb native to the eastern United States and Canada, which produces pale yellow flowers in spring.
Agalinis purpurea is an annual forb native to the eastern United States and Canada, which produces purple flowers in late summer or early fall.
Clitoria mariana, is a perennial herbaceous plant.
Hasteola suaveolens, known by the common names false Indian plantain and sweet scented Indian plantain, is a perennial forb native to the northeastern and north-central United States. It is found from Massachusetts south to Virginia and North Carolina, and west as far as Minnesota and Minnesota and Missouri.
Henry Hurd Rusby (1855–1940) was an American botanist, pharmacist and explorer. He discovered several new species of plants and played a significant role in founding the New York Botanical Garden and developing research and exploration programs at the institution. He helped to establish the field of economic botany, and left a collection of research and published works in botany and pharmacology.
Bolboschoenus novae-angliae, common names New England bulrush, and Salt march bulrush is a plant species found along the Atlantic seacoast of the United States from Alabama to Maine. It grows in brackish and salt-water marshes and estuaries along the coast.
Penthorum sedoides, known by the common name ditch stonecrop, is a perennial forb native to the eastern United States and Canada which produces small white flowers in summer.
Schizaea pusilla, the little curlygrass fern, is a species of fern in the family Schizaeaceae. It was first described by the German-American botanist Frederick Traugott Pursh in 1814. It is native to New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia in Canada, the French overseas territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and North Carolina in the United States of America. It is listed as endangered by the state of New York.
Polygala lutea, commonly known as orange- or yellow milkwort, is a plant in the milkwort family (Polygalaceae) native to pine-barren depressions and swamps in coastal areas of the southern and eastern the United States. It was first described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus.
Fimbristylis castanea, commonly known as marsh fimbry or saltmarsh fimbristylis, is a perennial sedge of the family Cyperaceae that is native to the United States of America.
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