Born at Edinburgh 23 rd October, 1859 Dunedin, New Zealand. Died at Perth, West Australia, 17 th July, 1905. Buried at Karrakatta.
He was M.A. of the New Zealand University, and successively Associate of the Otago University School of Mines, Lecturer in Chemistry, Assaying and Metallurgy in the Bendigo School of Mines, and formerly Professor of Mining and Geology in the Ballarat School of Mines. At the time of his death he was Director of Technical Education in W.A. and Lecturer in Chemistry, Assaying, &c., at the Perth Technical School. Mr. Purdie, as regards botany, worked chiefly on orchids.
He published a "List of Orchids collected near Sale ( Victoria) by the Misses May and Lilian Wise and Muriel Bennett," in Vict.Nat., x, 45.
He gave a lecture on "Our Native Orchids" before the Mueller Botanic Society, 24th September, 1900, illustrated with lantern slides. This lecture is given as part. 8 of the Proc. Mueller Bot. Soc. W.A., with blocks from his lantern slides. The lecture is an admirable one and shows alike the depth of his knowledge of the subject and his power as a teacher in clearly presenting his facts.
He delivered a second lecture entitled "The Epacridaceae or Australian Heaths on 9 th June, 1902” see Part 10 op. cit., an admirable illustrated discourse also.
He is commemorated by -: Boronia purdieana, Diels, and Grevillea purdieana.
Source: Maiden, J.H. (1909) Records of Western Australian Botanists. Journal of the West Australian Natural History Society. 2(6):5-33