Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 53

Nathaniel L(ord) Britton

york columbia usa botany

Botanist, born in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, USA. Originally a geologist, he was an assistant in geology at Columbia University (1879–86), then taught geology, botany, and ecology there (1886–90). He became a professor of botany at Columbia (1891–6), then resigned to found and direct the New York Botanical Garden (1896–1929), with his wife Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton as its curator of mosses. A rigid taxonomist, he collected and classified plants of the USA and the West Indies, and wrote and illustrated volumes on flowers, trees, and cacti. Honoured in the names of many plant genera and species, Mount Britton in Luquillo National Park, Puerto Rico, was also named for him.

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