John Clayton (botanist)
John Clayton (1694–1773) was a Colonial plant collector in Virginia. Clayton was born in England, and moved to Virginia with his father in 1715, where he lived in Gloucester County, near the Chesapeake Bay, exploring the region botanically. Clayton sent many specimens, as well as manuscript descriptions, to Dutch botanist Jan Frederik Gronovius in the 1730s. Without Clayton's knowledge, Gronovius used the material in his Flora Virginica (1739–1743, 2nd ed. 1762). Many of Clayton’s specimens were also studied by the European botanists Carl Linnaeus and George Clifford. In Clayton’s honor, Linnaeus named a common eastern North American wildflower, the spring beauty, Claytonia virginica.
He married Elizabeth Whiting, granddaughter of Peter Beverley.
- Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Smith Berkeley (1963). John Clayton: Pioneer of American Botany. University of North Carolina press, Chapel Hill. (Reviewed for example in Ewan, J. (1963). "John Clayton: Pioneer of American Botany. Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Smith Berkeley. University of North Carolina press, Chapel Hill, 1963. xii + 236pp. $6". Science 141 (3585): 1027. doi:10.1126/science.141.3585.1027-b.).