BANKS THE BOTANIST
THIS week in 1743, one of the most influential figures in natural sciences was born.
Joseph Banks (below) was a botanist who made his name during an expedition to Labrador and Newfoundland (which are now part of Canada), where he collected various plants, animals and rocks. He was later invited on board the HMS Endeavour to set sail on Captain James Cook’s first voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
Banks was responsible for introducing around 1,300 new species to the Western world, including Eucalyptus and Mimosa. Over 70 species now bear his name, including an Australian wildflower called Banksia.
As well as becoming President of the Royal Society, Banks was honorary director at Kew Gardens and was knighted in 1781.
A Banksia wildflower