Day 402

Linneaus Place

February 4th, 2013

This strange little misspelled, π-shaped court, located off Prince Street in Flushing, is named for William Prince Jr.'s famed 19th-century nursery, the Linnaean Botanic Garden, itself a namesake of the Swedish naturalist — and "genius of genuses"Carl Linnaeus. The garden, part of which stood on this site, was an outgrowth of one of the first large commercial plant nurseries on the continent, established here in Flushing in the 1730s and brought to great renown by Prince's father. George Washington paid a visit in the 1790s, as did Thomas Jefferson, who ordered a number of plants to be shipped to his Virginia home, Monticello. Many of the "botanical treasures" collected by Lewis and Clark were sent to the junior Prince to be propagated.

By the mid-1800s, other nurseries had sprung up in Flushing, most notably those of the Parsons family, reaffirming the area's status as one of the country's foremost centers of horticulture. Traces of this history can be found today on the local street signs. In addition to Linneaus Place and Prince Street, there is a Parsons Boulevard. There are also a slew of streets named for trees and plants, most of which belong to a series of avenues running alphabetically from Ash down to Rose.

Leave a Reply