Burbank, Luther–1849-1926–main office,
San Francisco, California; experiment farms, Santa Rosa; proving grounds,
Sebastopol; nurseries, Sonoma and Alameda Counties; seed farms, Santa Clara
Valley; spineless cactus nurseries, Santa Rosa and Livermore Valley; warehouse
and distributing, Oakland–was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts on March
7, 1849. He was an extraordinary plant breeder. At 21 he bought
a farm in Lunenberg, Massachusetts and began his 55-year plant breeding
career. He went to California in 1875 after having produced his Burbank
potato in 1873 in Lunenburg. After arriving in Santa Rosa, California,
he established his nursery garden, greenhouse, and experimental farms.
He developed over 800 new types of plants including over 113 varieties
of plums and prunes, roses, giant Shasta daisy, and the Fire poppy.
The 1924 catalog claimed they had 65,000 customers world-wide. He
died on April 11, 1926 in Santa Rosa, California. Burbank was a cousin
of W. Atlee Burpee (his mother was a Burpee).
Sources: Burbank; Dreyer;
CHSJ-Jul. 1961; CHSJ-Jan.