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Biographical entry Hill, Walter (1820 - 1904)

31 December 1820
Scotsdyke, Scotland
4 February 1904
Eight Miles Plains, Queensland, Australia
Botanist, Explorer and Horticulturalist


Walter Hill was the Queensland Colonial Botanist and Director of the Botanic Gardens 1855-1881. Earlier, he collected for William S. Macleay.Walter Hill introduced sugar cane and fruit trees to Queensland. Unable to establish a working herbarium due to time constraints and lack of suitable buildings, he sent most of his botanical specimens to William Hooker and later Joseph Hooker at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, and to Ferdinand von Mueller at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Walter Hills books became a core asset of the Queensland Herbarium library. In 1854, Walter Hill was part of an ill-fated expedition north in the ketch "Vision", during which four men were killed by aboriginals who were hanged later.



1843 - 1851
Career position - Gardener, Kew Botanical Gardens, England
1855 - 1881
Career position - Director, Royal Botanic Gardens Brisbane
1859 - 1881
Career position - Colonial Botanist of Queensland
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus grandis W.Hill
Taxonomy event - Honoured with Eucalyptus hillii Maiden

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

National Herbarium, Melbourne

  • Walter Hill - Records, 1870 - 1881, MSS M10; National Herbarium, Melbourne. Details

Queensland Herbarium

  • Walter Hill - Records, 1859 - 1881; Queensland Herbarium. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Dowe, John Leslie, 'Walter Hill: his involvement with palms (Arecaceae), and notes on his herbarium and the expeditions of 1872 and 1873', Austrobaileya, 9 (4) (2016), 489-507. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Queensland Botanists', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, xii (1909), 373-383. Details
  • Sanderson, Rachel, 'Many Beautiful Things: Botanists' Accounts of North Queensland Rainforests', Historical Records of Australian Science, 18 (1) (2007), 1-18. Details


See also

  • Fagg, Murray, 'Hill, Walter (1820 - 1904)', Australian Plant Collectors and Illustrators, Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria (CHAH), 2010, Details
  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material (Melbourne: CSIRO, 1978), 101 pp. Details
  • Tilbrook, Louis, The Macleay Collectors: a Working Notebook (Sydney: The Macleay Museum, 1992). Details

McCarthy, G.J., Moje, C. & Walsh, N.