William Aiton

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William Aiton

William Aiton (* 1731 near Hamilton , Scotland , † February 1, 1793 in Kew , England ) was a British botanist . Its official botanical author abbreviation is " Aiton "; earlier it was also “ Ait. “Abbreviated.


William Aiton was trained by the botanist Philip Miller and subsequently his assistant. In 1754 he traveled to Hawaii . Upon his return he became chief gardener of the Chelsea Physic Garden , the second oldest botanical garden in England. In 1759 he became head of the Botanical Gardens in Kew , which he raised with restless zeal, supported by royal generosity, to the richest in the world.

His Hortus Kewensis, or, a catalog the plants cultivated in the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew (London 1789, three volumes with illustrations) contains a description of 6,000 plants, including 14 new genera and almost 500 new species. The brevity, accuracy and certainty of the characteristics make this work a model. The editor of the second edition of this work, published from 1810 to 1813, was his son William Townsend Aiton (1766–1849), who was a gardener and succeeded his father as head of the Botanical Gardens in Kew.


Aitonia Thunb are named after William Aiton . from the mahogany family (Meliaceae).

Individual evidence

  1. Robert Zander : Zander hand dictionary of plant names . Ed .: Fritz Encke , Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold . 13th, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 .
  2. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]

Web links