John Jeffrey

1826 - 1854

Explorer and plant-hunter. Born in Forneth (Perth and Kinross), Jeffrey worked as a gardener for the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. He was appointed by a group of Scotsmen known as the Oregon Botanical Association to travel to North America and collect seeds of the species discovered by David Douglas (1799 - 1834). He arrived in Hudson's Bay in August 1850 and walked for more than 1200 miles (1930 km) overland to reach the Columbia River. Travelling alone, he set about exploring Washington State, Oregon and California, sending many new specimens back to Scotland. He is particularly noted for his conifers.

He disappeared in 1854 on a trip from San Diego across the Colorado Desert and, despite attempts to find him, was never seen again.

The tree Pinus jeffreyi, which he discovered in the Shasta Valley of California in 1852, and the perennial Penstemon Jeffreyanus were named in his honour.

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