John Hutchinson (1884-1972)
While employed as a garden boy at Kew (1904-), John Hutchinson
took evening classes in botany, drawing and watercolour painting.
The skills he developed were noticed when he came to work in Kew’s
Arboretum. He was offered a place in the Herbarium, where he spent
30 years pursuing his particular interest in the plants of Africa.
He travelled on expeditions in 1928-9 and 1930.
Hutchinson’s efforts to reveal the relationships between
flowering plants were extensive, while his keys and descriptions
for correctly identifying species were widely appreciated. Easily
used keys and lucid line drawings brought about the success of
his popular book Common Wild Flowers (1945). His publishers,
Penguin, encouraged his second volume, More Common Wild Flowers (1948)
and then his third, Uncommon Wild Flowers (1950), all
later revised into a definitive two-volume flora for the layman.
With Ronald Melville he wrote The Story of Plants and their
Uses to Man (1948).
Hutchinson became Keeper of Kew’s Museums for ten years before
retiring (1936-1948), but never ceased his work in the Herbarium
where he worked daily for the rest of his life. He is shown pressing
some specimens during a pause in collecting.
Fellow of the Linnean Society 1918
Victoria Medal of Honour 1944
Veitch Memorial Medal 1945
Fellow of the Royal Society 1947
to: Ronald Melville