The Full Wiki

Donald C. Peattie: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donald Culross Peattie
Born June 21, 1898
Died November 16, 1964
Nationality U.S.
Fields naturalist

Donald Culross Peattie (June 21, 1898 - November 16, 1964) was a U.S. botanist, naturalist and author. He was described by Joseph Wood Krutch as "perhaps the most widely read of all contemporary American nature writers" during his heyday.



Peattie was born in Chicago to the journalist Robert Peattie and the novelist Elia Peattie. He studied French poetry for two years at the University of Chicago and then transferred to, and graduated (1922) from Harvard University where he studied with the noted botanist Merritt Lyndon Fernald. After field work in the Southern and Mid-West United States, he worked as a botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (1922-1924).

He was nature columnist for the The Washington Star from 1924 to 1935.

His nature writings are distinguished by a poetic and philosophical cast of mind and are scientifically scrupulous. His best known works are the two books (out of a planned trilogy) on North American trees which he wrote in the late 1940s and early '50s. These were published as a single volume for the first time in April 2007 as A Natural History of North American Trees. (Unfortunately, this hardbound volume reduces the two books' original 257 mini-essays to only 112 and includes only 135 of Paul Landacre's original 365 woodcut illustrations.)

Peattie also produced children's and travel books, altogether totaling almost forty volumes.


  • Trees You Want to Know (1934)
  • An Almanac for Moderns (1935)
  • The Story of the New Lands (1937)
  • This is Living, A View of Nature with Photographs (1938)
  • A Prairie Grove (1938), a narrative of the history and family home of naturalist Robert Kennicott
  • Flowering Earth (1939)
  • The Road of a Naturalist (1941)
  • Singing in the Wilderness: A Salute to John James Audubon
  • Forward the Nation (Armed Services edition) (1944)
  • American Heartwood (1949)
  • A Natural History of Trees of Eastern and Central North America, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950; 2nd ed 1966; Reprint as trade paperback with intro by Robert Finch, 1991. (Portions were previously published in The Atlantic Monthly, Natural History and Scientific American in 1948-49.)
  • A Natural History of Western Trees, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1953; Reprint as trade paperback with intro by Robert Finch, 1991.
  • The Rainbow Book of Nature (1957)
  • Best in Children's Books (6) by Donald Culross Peattie, Phyllis Krasilovsky, Rudyard Kipling, and Rachel Field (1958)


  • Peattie's papers, correspondence, and manuscripts, and those of Louise Redfield, are in the archives of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections.


External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address