Re: What’s in a name? (News, July 20)
The Douglas fir, known as Pseudotsuga, has nothing to do with James Douglas.
It was named after David Douglas (1799-1834), a Scottish botanist/explorer who discovered and named many plant species from western North America and the pacific Islands.
He met a tragic end at the age of 35, while botanizing in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), when he fell into a wild cattle pit-trap containing a wild bull, which gored and trampled him to death.
He is considered to be one of the greatest exploring botanists of all time.
Editor’s note: We acknowledge being too zealous on our James Douglas attributions. While he did have more than a dozen geographic locations and other facilities named for him around B.C., the Douglas fir was indeed not one of them. We apologize for this error.