star fruit trees Canton China 1901 FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

David Fairchild: Adventures with a Plant Explorer

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 12:30pm
Led by 
Carolyn Crouch

As a Kansas schoolboy David Grandison Fairchild had two dreams: to study plants and to travel.  Imagine his delight when he learned that the U.S government would pay him to do both! The extraordinary expeditions of David Fairchild, who came to be known as the Plant Explorer, span the dry, windswept plains of the American midwest to the lush, rain-soaked tropical jungles of Asia and South America. Along the way, this adventurous botanist

  • was mentored by some of the most renowned scientists and inventors of his day;
  • attracted patrons who financed his journeys;
  • and discovered romance with Marian (Daisy) Bell, daughter of Alexander Graham Bell.

Fairchild brought plants from alfalfa to zoysia to American farmers, avocados and mangoes to American dinner plates, cherry blossoms to Washington, D.C., and even a robust species of hops to bolster the flavor of American-brewed beer! 

While essentially unknown to the general population, David Fairchild’s contributions to U.S. agriculture and our daily diet are incalculable. Discover the man whose remarkable and colorful life enshrines him as a luminary of American scientific, cultural, and social history.

This program is inspired by Washington Walks’ Blossom Secrets Stroll walking tour and will be presented by Washington Walks' founder Carolyn Crouch.