The Tradescants

The Tradescant’ rose has highly fragrant, double, rich crimson flowers.It is named for The Tradescant family at Lambeth, England who made one of the first great collections of international plants. They were plant collectors in every sense of the word. Naturalist, gardener, collector and traveller, John the Elder (1570 -1638), found plants in Europe, North Africa and Russia, as well as obtaining them through the Virginia Company in North America. He travelled to the Low Countries and brought back cherries, quince, medlars and Provins roses for the Gardens at Hatfield House, the home of the Cecil family. John the Younger (1608 – 1662) collected trees, shrubs and perennials on his three trips to Virginia. The listed contents of his purchases are astonishing and we know it included tulip bulbs for 10 shillings per hundred between 1610 and 1615. The garden established by the father and son was well documented and an incredible record of most of the plants known at that time still exists. As well as working for the Cecil family they worked for the Royal family in the gardens at Oatlands and Queen Henrietta Maria at St. James’s Palace. They had a museum at Lambeth – Tradescant’s Ark (Museum Tradescantianum1656), which eventually formed the nucleus of the now famous Ashmoleon Museum at Oxford.

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