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Major George Sherriff


1898 - 1967

Plant hunter and botanist. Born at Carronvale House (Larbert), Sherriff was educated at Sedbergh School (Yorkshire) and the Royal Military Academy (Woolwich, London). He was posted to India at the end of the First World War and was appointed Vice-Consul at Kashgar. There he met Englishman Frank Ludlow and their expeditions together included visits to Tibet (1933) and the Himalayas (1934 and 1936), where they collected more than 2000 specimens including a considerable number of new species. Sherriff went to the Black Mountains of Bhutan alone in 1937, and the pair visited both Bhutan and Tibet in 1938, collecting a remarkable 5000 specimens. Following an hiatus, due to the Second World War, Sherriff and Ludlow undertook further expeditions in 1946-47 and 1949. Sherriff was one of the first to be able to send plants back to Britain by air and was thus able to introduce delicate species which would not have survived otherwise.

Sheriff returned to Britain in 1950 and settled at Ascreavie House near Kirriemuir, where he created a remarkable Himalayan garden planted with every known species of primula. In 1953, he was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour for outstanding services to horticulture.

Sherriff was responsible for a remarkable number of new introductions, particularly Meconopsis, Primula and Rhododendron, with his name being honoured in the species Berberis sherriffii, Cyananthus sherriffii, Lilium sherriffiae and Meconopsis sherriffii.

Sherriff died at Kirriemuir and his correspondence is held by the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.


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