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Wayne Roderick, 1920-2003

Articles: Wayne Roderick, 1920-2003

 

Wayne Roderick. Photographer unknown

The world of horticulture and California botany has lost a legendary figure in the passing of Wayne Roderick at his home in Orinda, California. Those fortunate to have known Wayne personally have lost a true friend. Perhaps fittingly, he suffered the first of a series of debilitating strokes on a collecting expedition to the Sierra Nevada in July.

Upon meeting him in the 1970s, I asked Wayne which group of plants was his favorite. He replied, simply, ”plants.” He truly was plant-happy, as he would put it, and coveted any plant that fit his outwardly ambiguous but internally rigorous criteria of “a good plant.” On a recent survey of his front-porch collection, I found tropical orchids and begonias, Asian rhododendrons, African succulents, Mediterranean palms, native shrubs, and, of course, bulbs. Bulbs, corms, and tubers were his area of primary interest and expertise. His bulb collection revealed an impressive breadth and included rarities from around the globe. Thanks to his propensity for sharing, many of us now have comparable collections.

Wayne’s inte...

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