Seedsmen Hall of Fame
Honoring Horticulturalists

Robert Buist

Robert Buist was born near Edinburgh, Scotland on November 14, 1805.  He trained at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and in August of 1828, emigrated to America.

He gained employment at D. Landreth later taking a position with Henry Pratt, owner of Lemon Hill.  In 1830 he started a floral business in Philadelphia in partnership with Thomas Hibbert.  The business focused on the importation of roses and rare plants.  After Hibbert’s death, Mr. Buist began a seed, nursery and greenhouse business using his name.  Management of the seed business eventually passed to his son Robert junior.

Buist was known for his work with roses and verbena and credited with introducing the poinsettia to the United States.  He authored several books; "The American Flower-Garden Directory" in 1832, "The Rose Manual" in 1844, and "The Family Kitchen-Gardener" about 1847.  He passed away in Philadelphia on July 13, 1880.


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