David Douglas Canada United States

Biography of David Douglas

David Douglas (1799-1834) was an alumnus who introduced over 200 species of plants to Britain. The Douglas fir is named for him.

David Douglas began his career as apprentice to the head gardner at Scone Palace in Perthshire. On completing the apprenticeship his work eventually led him to the University of Glasgow's Botanical Gardens where he also attended the botany lectures of William Jackson Hooker. Douglas then accompanied Hooker on expeditions to the Highlands and recommended him to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

In 1823 the RHS sent Douglas on a plant collecting expedition to Eastern America and Canada. A further commission sent him to the Columbia River where he spent two years seeking out species previously unknown in Europe. He was welcomed back to England with great enthusiasm in 1827. Histravel journals were published in 1914.

It was on another research trip, this time to Hawaii in 1834 that Douglas met a tragic early death, gored by a wild bull. He was buried at Kawaiahao cemetery in Honolulu.


David Douglas

Born 25 June 1799.
Died 12 July 1834.
GU Degree:
University Link: Alumnus
Occupation categories: botanists; explorers
Record last updated: 6th Oct 2016

Country Associations

Canada Canada, No Region

United States United States, No Region

University Connections

University Roles

  • Alumnus