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Ronald Melville

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Ronald Melville
Ronald Melville (12 March 1903 – 6 August 1985) He was an English botanist, based at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. He is chiefly remembered for his wartime research into rosehips as a source of vitamin C, prompted by the epidemic of scurvy amongst children owing to the reduced importation of fresh fruit. His research concluded that hips from the common Dog Rose Rosa canina held the highest concentration of the vitamin. In later years, he challenged the two-species taxonomy of the British elms proposed by Richens, identifying five distinct species, several varieties and numerous complex hybrids. Melville assembled a large collection of elm species, varieties and hybrids which are still growing at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's Wakehurst site. Melville also compiled the world's first Red Data Book, published in 1970, listing all known threatened plants. He was made a Fellow of the Linnean Society in 1938. The tree Acacia melvillei is named in his honour.
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