Sir William Hooker, English botanist

Sir William Hooker, English botanist

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865), English botanist. Hooker was educated in estate management at a grammar school, which he subsequently left to follow his love of botany after gaining an inheritance from his godfather. This lead to his discovery of a new species of moss (Buxbaumia aphylla). At the age of 21 he was elected a fellow of the Linnaean Society and in 1722 he went on an expedition to sample Iceland's botany. Sadly, this resulted in disaster following a ship fire that destroyed Hooker's unpublished notes and illustrations. In 1841 he became director of Kew Gardens and was instrumental in extensively expanding the gardens.

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