George Gardner (botanist)
Gardner's father was a gardener first to the Earl of Dunmore in Ardentinny, then from 1816 to the Earl of Eglinton at Ardrossan. In 1822, his parents moved to Glasgow where he attended the grammar-school and acquired a good knowledge of the Latin language. He began the study of medicine in the Andersonian university of Glasgow in 1829 eventually becoming a surgeon.
In 1836, encouraged by William Hooker he brought out a work, entitled Musci Britannici, or Pocket Herbarium of British Mosses arranged and named according to Hooker’s "British Flora" His botanical work impressed Duke of Bedford who became his patron and in the summer of 1836 Gardner sailed from Liverpool for Rio de Janeiro to collect plants, minerals, recent and fossil shells, preserved skins of birds, mammals, fishes and other natural history specimens in North Brazil. The specimens were sent to public botanic gardens, as well as to private subscribers, to the expedition. He stayed in Brazil for years (1836–1841). In 1842 he was elected a Member of the Linnean Society.
In 1843, he was appointed to Ceylon, as superintendent of the botanic garden in Peradeniya and island botanist, by the colonial government. Here he finished "Travels in the Interior of Brazil, principally through the Northern Provinces and the Gold Districts, during the years 1836–41" published in London, by Reeves Brothers, in 1846. He had made extensive collections towards a complete "Flora Zeylanica" not published because of his early death.
Species named for Gardner are titled gardneri.
- Torrington, 1849 Death of George Gardner. Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc . 1: 154–156.
- Ray Desmond, 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists includins Plant Collectors, Flower Painters and Garden Designers. Taylor & Francis and The Natural History Museum (London).
- Gardner, George. 1846. Travels in the interior of Brazil: principally through the northern provinces, and the gold and diamond districts, during the years 1836-1841. London: Reeve, Brothers.
- George Gardner: plant pioneer in Brazil Web resource from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, including biographical details, travel accounts and details of his botanical collections.
- Significant Scots Text from Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen Blackie and Son of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London 1856.