Original Research

William Keit and the Durban Botanic Garden

D. P. McCracken
Bothalia | Vol 16, No 1 | a1075 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v16i1.1075 | © 1986 D. P. McCracken | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 October 1986 | Published: 22 July 1986

About the author(s)

D. P. McCracken, University of Durban-Westville,, South Africa

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William Keit was born in Saxony in 1841 and in early life travelled across Europe working in many famous nurseries and gardens. In 1872 on the recommendation of the director of Kew Gardens, Keit emigrated to Natal to become curator of the Durban Botanic Garden. So dilapidated was this garden that Keit was faced with the task of virtually re-establishing it.Though he was largely successful in this endeavour, as he was in fortifying the link between Natal and Kew, Keit could not solve the problems of a severe drought,a labour shortage and a scarcity of funds. In 1881 he resigned his position leaving a solid foundation on which the renowned botanist, John Medley Wood was to build. Keit in later Ufe ran a successful nursery in Durban and for 30 years was curator of the Parks and Gardens Department,in which capacity he did more than anyone else to beautify Durban.


biography; Durban Botanic Garden; William Keit


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