Friday, 26 December 2008
William Lobb (1809 – May 1864) together with his brother Thomas Lobb (1817-1894) were the first of a new breed of Victorian plant collectors. Unlike scientific explorers that preceeded their work, they were commercial plant hunters, employed by the Veitch Nurseries. They sought out large quantities of seed for full-scale nursery production, and their discoveries fuelled many crazes and fashions, the most famous of which was the Monkey Puzzle from William's first expedition to South America in 1844, only to be followed by his introduction of the "Wellingtonia" (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in 1853. His brother Thomas collected in the Far East, up to the 1860's.