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david fairchild

The Man Who Brought Cherry Blossoms to D.C., and Other Fun Facts

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Each spring, thousands of tourists travel to our nation’s capital to see the Tidal Basin swathed in clouds of cherry blossom pink. Peak bloom this year is predicted to be March 17-20 but festivities will continue for the following four weeks. The first flowering cherry trees were planted more than 100 years ago when a Department of Agriculture employee ordered 125 of them from a Japanese plant nursery, because his new wife liked them. This man, David Fairchild was a shy country boy from Kansas, but he became one of the most adventuresome botanists of all time. His story is told in The Food Explorer (Dutton, 2018), a new book by Daniel Stone that reads like a travelogue, a novel,…

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