I spent last Wednesday at an RHS Study Day on the life and works of EH "Chinese" Wilson, another of my plant collecting heroes, second only to David Douglas. Look him up on Google for more info but this is the man:
As you would guess Chinese got his nickname because of where he did the bulk of his collecting, and he was prolific. The most spectacular is Davidia involucrata (the handkerchief tree but he is credited with literally thousands of others. Travelled hard in difficult country and had a horrendous accident crossing a scree slope, which almost cost him his leg and his life.
The Study Day was classic curate's egg - good in parts. When it dealt with the man and his travels it was first class. When it dealt with his plants it amounted to trainspotting for rhododendrons, and Ye Gods, the audience were a load of buffers (present company excepted of course!). I'm sorry to admit that I fell asleep in one of the duller parts.