The Veitch Nurseries and its collection of extraordinary plants continues to fascinate us today. East Devon District Council have just issued a booklet honouring the ‘plant hunters’:

The book was launched from the St Bridget Nurseries stand at Devon County Show. St Bridget Nurseries prides itself on its own Veitch heritage, raising and selling Veitch specimens.
The book is a guide to the legacy of James Veitch & Sons and unsung heroes of horticulture. It helps modern-day plant hunters find native, international, ancient and exotic trees, shrubs and plants across Devon, with a focus on Exeter and the Clyst Valley.
The impact of the Veitch family on horticulture, garden and parkland design in Devon and beyond, as well as plant conservation worldwide was huge, and has largely been forgotten. However, these heroes need no statues, as their legacy lives on in every garden around the country and in the wonderful local parks such as Killerton, Bicton, and the University of Exeter campus.
The guide was created by Simon Bates and Caradoc Doy. Simon is the Green Infrastructure Project Manager at East Devon District Council responsible for developing the Clyst Valley Regional Park.
Caradoc Doy is a professional horticulturist who devotes himself to researching the achievements of the ground-breaking Veitch nurseries of Exeter and Chelsea. The guide is beautifully illustrated by artist Jane Cope and photographer Jenny Steer.

2 July 2021 – Launch of Veitch ‘plant hunters’ Devon guide – East Devon
Devon’s historic plant hunters honoured – Radio Exe
Launch of Veitch ‘plant hunters’ Devon guide | The Devon Daily
St Bridget Nurseries | Facebook

The Veitch specimens are indeed treasured in the Clyst Valley:

10 SPC Report Clyst Valley Regional Park Masterplan v2.pdf
13 July 2021 – £100k awarded to innovative nature project in East Devon – East Devon


Exeter has honoured both its horticultural and engineering heritage with a trail of old lamp posts decorated with Veitch-collected plants – including the Chilian Lantern Tree:

12 Crinodendron hookerianum – Veitch Lamp Post Trail

Here’s a little more from the dedicated website:

The idea of the lamp post trail started because the historic cast-iron lamp posts were in a shocking state of neglect. Residents of St David’s and St James wanted to preserve them and secured funding for their restoration in 2015.
17 lamp posts were repainted in the original livery by Rob Gardener. Most of the cast-iron lampposts were made at Exeter foundries (now closed) by firms such as Garton & King, F. Parkin and & Son, Willey & Sons
These pieces of period street furniture were then linked with another famous heritage industry in the neighbourhood, horticulture and the world-renowned Veitch family, who sent plant-hunters out all over the world bringing back plants which are now familiar to most of us in our gardens.
Local botanical illustrator Kate Wilson was commissioned to paint a different Veitch plant on 16 of the lamp posts.

The Veitch Lamp Post Trail in Exeter
Veitch Lamp Post Trail – See where it leads
Veitch Lamp post trail | Kate Wilson