Plant collector E.H. Wilson awarded blue plaque

A plant pioneer has found fame beyond the grave and the world of botany with a blue plaque.

The plaque to Ernest Henry Wilson went up at Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses last week to celebrate the life of the prolific plant collector.

Plant collections manager Simon Gulliver said Wilson, killed in a car accident in 1930 aged 54, was "perhaps Birmingham's most famous son" and had amassed plants from 15 countries.

"He was one of the world's most successful plant hunters, introducing 100,000 dried specimens of 5,000 species, collected from three continents," said Gulliver.

"Birmingham is often thought of as an industrial city, but it was also a centre for science and the plaque was given for his world contribution to horticulture."

At the unveiling of the blue plaque, Birmingham Civic Society vice-chairman Rob Blyth said: "We give two plaques a year and the great and the good must have been dead for at least 20 years, so it's no good nominating yourselves."

- See Simon Gulliver interview in next week's issue.

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