Do behold the King in his glory…King Sequoia!

Parks and Gardens UK

"Wellingtonia Gigantea," c. 1855. Lithograph, Bancroft Library “Wellingtonia Gigantea,” c. 1855.
Lithograph, Bancroft Library

In 1849 a young Cornishman William Lobb arrived  in San Francisco. Not to take part in the famous Gold Rush but to hunt for green gold for his employer, the enterprising Exeter nurseryman, James Veitch.

gold-rush-view_of_san_francisco San Francisco from Telegraph Hill, 1850 lithograph by Currier & McMurtrie. In public domain

What Lobb bought back created a wave of excitement and  made Veitch a fortune. It also had a great impact on the landscape of many great British parks and gardens, and, with luck,  will continue to do so for a very long time.  Lobb returned with seeds of  the biggest tree in the world: the Wellingtonia, or as it should now more properly be called,  Sequoiadendron giganteum.

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