Almost everyone in the Northwest recognizes our common tree, the Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Many are also aware of the enormous Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), which predominantly grows along our Pacific Northwest coastal waters.
David Douglas (1799-1834) discovered both during the 19th century and many other Northwest conifers. The Scotsman collected plants for the Horticultural Society of London. Unfortunately, he died at the young age of 35 while collecting plants in Hawaii; he fell into a pit already occupied by a wild bull and was gored.