Harold Fletcher (botanist)

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Dr Harold Roy Fletcher FRSE (1907-1978) was an English botanist and horticulturalist. He was Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh from 1956 to 1970[1] and Her Majesty's Botanist 1966 to 1978. As an author he is known as H. R. Fletcher.[2]


He was born in Glossop in Derbyshire on 14 April 1907 the son of James Fletcher. He attended Glossop Grammar School. He attended Manchester University graduating BSc in 1929. He then did postgraduate studies at Aberdeen University gaining a doctorate (PhD) in 1933.

In 1943 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir William Wright Smith, James R Matthews, James Ritchie and James Couper Brash. He served as the Society's Vice President 1962 to 1965 and won their Neill Prize for the period 1971-73.[3]

From 1951 to 1954 he was Director of the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley. In 1954 he became Assistant Keeper at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and was promoted to be the 11th Regius Keeper in 1956, holding the post until 1970.

Both Edinburgh University and St Andrews University awarded him honorary doctorates (DSc) in 1971.[4]

He died on 27 August 1978.


The standard author abbreviation H.R.Fletcher is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[5]

  • New Species of Alpine Primula (1941)
  • Challenges and Opportunity (1966)
  • The Story of the Royal Horticultural Society 1804-1968 (1969)
  • Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 1670-1970 (1970)
  • Quest of Flowers (1975)
  • The Genus Primula (1977)


In 1941 he married Evelyn Betty Veronica Sloan.


  1. ^ http://herbariaunited.org/wiki/Harold_Roy_Fletcher#Biography
  2. ^ https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harold_Roy_Fletcher
  3. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  4. ^ "Honorary D.D. from Edinburgh for Alan Paton". The Glasgow Herald. 29 December 1970. p. 1. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ IPNI.  H.R.Fletcher.