December 4, 2009

Marshall Pinckney Wilder (1798-1886) was a distinguished and well respected horticulturist. He had purchased the farm of Governor Increase Sumner and created an estate near Grove Hall in Dorchester, Massachusetts that was known as “Hawthorne Grove.” Throughout the mid nineteenth century he developed an extensive pear orchard that contained at one time 800 cultivars, and his Dorchester Nursery was among the first mail order businesses for plants, seeds and bulbs. Wilder served as the third president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, from 1840-1847, as well as president of the American Pomological Society, which since 1873 awards the "Wilder Medal" which is given to pomologists who have contributed most to the improvement of cultivars of various kinds of fruit in this country. Wilder was probably best known for hybrizing camellias and among them are the award winning Camellias Wilderi, Mrs. Abby Wilder, Mrs. Julia Wilder and the Jenny Wilder. From his estate in 1839 went to the Boston Public Garden the entire collection of greenhouse and garden plants.

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