Saunders, William 1822-1900

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Saunders was a nurseryman, landscape gardener and horticulturist.

He was born in Scotland and died in Washington, D.C. He received practical horticultural training at Kew Gardens and came to the United States about 1848. He wrote many practical and timely articles for Gardener's Monthly, The Horticulturist, and other periodicals. In 1854 he entered into the nursery business with Thomas Meehan. He also became a landscape gardener of note and completed the plantings of the National Capital's Park System started by Andrew Downing. He planned many parks throughout Eastern United States.

In 1862 he was appointed Botanist and Superintendent of Horticulture of the newly created United States Department of Agriculture. He became one of the ablest and most influential men in the department during a long period. He was one of the founders of the National Grange and was Master during its first six years.

His knowledge of the flora of the world was extraordinary and he introduced in the United States many fruits of economic importance, such as hardy Russian apples for the extreme North in 1870. He obtained the hardy stock for citrus Poncirus trifoliata in 1869. He also introduced the Japanese persimmon to this country and his greatest success was the introduction of the Bahia or Washington Navel Orange.