Cornell University

Mark Catesby and the introduction of new plants into Europe

Monday, May 1, 2017 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm

Plant Science Building, 404

The Cornell community and Ithaca area public are cordially invited to a special lecture on the early 18th century naturalist Mark Catesby presented by Mark Laird, Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

Mark Catesby (1683-1749) is best known as the writer and illustrator of his monumental The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-1743). Begun in 1729, it was the first overarching natural history of Britain’s colonies. His lesser-known and posthumous Hortus Britanno-Americanus of 1763, which was marketed to a continental readership as Hortus Europae Americanus (1767), summarized his experience in adapting American species to a different environment. The focus of this talk will be the successes and failures of acclimatization during a period of changing climate and how a number of species have had an enduring impact beyond their initial role within the groves and shrubberies of the English landscape garden. As just one example, Catesby’s legacy is evident in and around the Houses of Parliament in London today, where mature Catalpa bignonioides owe their success to the first specimen grown in the Prince of Wales’s Carlton House garden in the 1730s, just the other side of St. James’s Park.

Prof. Laird's lecture takes place as part of the Horticulture Section seminar series in the Cornell School of Integrative Plant Sciences and in conjunction with the spring 2017 program "Mark Catesby: Naturalist in North America," co-sponsored by Mann Library and the Section of Horticulture. For our audience at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, this lecture will be viewable via videoconference to G19 Hedrick in Geneva.

Event Type



Horticulture, Cornell University Library, Mann Library, Sustainability


horticulture, nysaes, hortseminar, sips, sipsseminar



Free and open to the public

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Contact Name

Don Rakow

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