George Forrest

1873 - 1932

Botanist. Born in Falkirk, Forrest was the youngest of thirteen children and his father owned a draper's shop. Forrest was educated in Kilmarnock and began his career as an apprentice pharmacist, where he learned about the medicinal benefits of plants. He undertook a series of expeditions to China and Tibet in the early years of the 20th century, becoming one of Britain's most prolific plant collectors. Hundreds of new species were brought back to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, where he was appointed Keeper of Herbarium in 1902. Thousands of seeds were distributed amongst the sponsors of his expeditions. He is particularly known for collecting rhododendrons and primulas, but also introduced various orchids, a silver fir and a snakebark maple, all called forrestii.

Forrest was also known as an entomologist, with hundreds of insects collected by him being held by the Royal Museum, and a zoologist, describing birds in China.

He died in Yunnan (China), where he is buried.

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