Thoughts on botany from 1959

A bunch of choice quotes from the Gardens’ Bulletin volume 17 issue 2, published in 1959 on the 100th anniversary of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The knowledge of the correct names of plants is essential for the ecologist… I believe that ecological studies in the widest sense provide the only sound basis for the preparation of rational plans of land utilisation.

Purseglove, p. 146
“History and functions of botanic gardens
with special reference to Singapore”

The critical name of a plant species is the alpha of botanical knowledge…

Van Steenis, p. 162
“Singapore and Flora Malesiana”

…for the taxonomic progress with living plants and all the impetus to botany, theoretical and applied, which will follow, we must look to the botanical institutes in tropical countries… Western science has led the way to a better appreciation of nature, but the tropical countries must now help their eager students to extend this knowledge in their own rich heritage for the benefit of mankind… On the tropical students now falls the responsibility for writing their biological floras… Theirs will be the responsibility of preserving the native vegetation and the beauty of the country by wayside and in natural park, and of collecting the living assemblage of economic, ornamental, and rare plants for research and recreation in botanic gardens… At present they may lean on outside support, but I look to the time when students from outside will learn in the tropical institutes.

Corner, p. 214
“The importance of tropical taxonomy to modern botany”


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