David Don
(1800-1841)

Died aged c. 41

David Don (21 December 1799 – 15 December 1841) was a Scottish botanist, David Don was born on 21 December 1799 at Doo Hillock, Forfar, Angus, Scotland. He was the younger brother of George Don, also a botanist, their parents being George Don of Forfar and his wife Caroline Clementina Stuart. George Don (senior) was for a long time Curator of the Royal Botanic Garden, Leith Walk, Edinburgh. David was Professor of Botany at King's College London from 1836 to 1841, and librarian at the Linnean Society of London from 1822 to 1841. He described several of the major conifers discovered in the period, including first descriptions of Coast Redwood (Taxodium sempervirens D. Don; now Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.), Bristlecone Fir (Pinus bracteata D. Don, now Abies bracteata (D. Don) A. Poit.), Grand Fir (Pinus grandis Douglas ex D. Don; now Abies grandis (Douglas ex D. Don) Lindl.) and Coulter Pine (Pinus coulteri D. Don), and was the first to treat Sugi (Cupressus japonica Thunb.; now Cryptomeria japonica (Thunb.) D. Don) in a new genus. He also named the orchid genus Pleione in 1825. David Don was librarian to the botanist Aylmer Bourke Lambert and compiled for him, Prodromus florae nepalensis ... London, J. Gale, 1825, based on collections made by the botanists Francis Hamilton and Nathaniel Wallich of the Calcutta Botanic Garden. In 1938 the London County Council marked Don at 32 Soho Square with a rectangular stone plaque, commemorating him as well as botanists Joseph Banks and Robert Brown and meetings of the Linnean Society. The standard author abbreviation D.Don is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Photo of Joseph Banks, Robert Brown, David Don, and The Linnean Society stone plaque
Spudgun67 on Flickr

Sir Joseph Banks 1743-1820, President of the Royal Society, Robert Brown 1773-1858 and, David Don 1800-1841 botanists, lived in a house on this site, The Linnean Society met here 1821-1857

32 Soho Square, Westminster, W1, London, United Kingdom where he lived