Here’s another bit of arcana that turned up in Ray Strange’s collection, a letter from Dr. Lovett’s secretary acknowledging receipt of some trees:
It seems like a rather odd list, nothing native, perhaps all meant as experiments. Aside from the doomed Italian cypresses there are some fairly exotic cedars, some palms, and bamboo. I’d wager that this shipment was the source of the palms that thrived behind the Physics Amphitheater for many years:
Otherwise, though, I have no recollection of seeing any of the others on campus. Maybe someone at the Lynn Lowrey Arboretum could chime in.
The real mystery here, though, is this: who on earth was Mr. Gillespie and why would he send us trees from California? I don’t have one single clue.
Bonus: MFAH original building, designed by Rice professor William Ward Watkin.
I’m not from the arboretum (I wish I were!), but I was pretty familiar with the complement of species on campus at least up through the late ’90’s, when the GIS inventory was getting going. None of those species are ones I recognize as being listed. The camphor tree was the only oddball I had to look up, and it’s not around any more. I’m totally willing to be proved wrong; this is a placeholder comment until someone with actual authority shows up. 😉