Wrong Douglas attributed to fir tree

Sharp-eyed reader spots discrepancy with attribution of species

Re: What’s in a name? (News, July 20)

This story seems to imply everything around here with the name “Douglas” was named after our first governor, James Douglas. Douglas is a very common Scottish name. The Douglas fir, however, was not named after this fellow, illustrious as he was in our recent history.

Scottish naturalist, David Douglas, whom I’ll bet spent far more time in the bush in these parts than did politician James Douglas, had this great tree, Pseudotsuga, named in his honour along with numerous other plants and critters he studied.

Also, if you go out into our woods and encounter a little brown chattering squirrel (not our arriviste grey urban squirrels), that’s a Douglas squirrel, also named after David, not James.

Jurgen Pokrandt


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