Landreth, David–(1752-?)–Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Bristol, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina–was born in England in
1752. He is credited with establishing the first American commercial
seed company, D. Landreth & Company. The brothers, David and
Cuthbert, arrived from England in 1784 and began as truck farmers supplying
artichokes to French emigres in Pennsylvania. Their early customers
included Washington, Adams, Monroe, and Jefferson. They began growing
flowering shrubs and hothouse exotics in their nursery and greenhouses.
They propagated seeds from the Lewis and Clark expeditions (1803-1806)
which brought native shrubs and plants into the commercial trade.
The Landreths introduced the garden tomato in 1820, followed by Landreths’
Extra Early Pea. Other introductions were the Mexican zinnia and
the Bloomsdale spinach. In 1824 the firm moved to Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Sources: Plants; Woodburn2;