Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Zoologist, botanist, poet, artist.
Born 19 August 1911 in Adelaide, SA; died 16 March 1997 in Stirling, Adelaide Hills, SA
Completed Honours in Zoology at Adelaide University in 1933.
At the same time he was studying at the North Adelaide School of Fine Art.
He had a scholarship to study at the Melbourne University School of Zoology but decided against continuing in this area after one year. He returned to Adelaide at the end of 1934.
He went to England 1937-1938.
On returning to Australia he married Elfreda Heysen, daughter of artist Hans Heysen, on 25 August 1938 at a small ceremony with about 25 people at the Heysen home, 'The Cedars'. They later had two sons.
He became interested in conifers, and curated that collection at the Adelaide University Botany Department's herbarium. He also planted them extensively at his family home, 'Arbroath' near Stirling in the Adelaide Hills.
He then took a position managing the scientific botanical side of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens until 1955. This included bringing together the disparate herbarium collections held around Adelaide following the death of J.M. Black in 1951. But he rejected the offer of the position of first full-time Keeper of the newly established 'State Herbarium', suggesting a more qualified person be found. That person was Hansjörg Eichler, and Ted Booth stayed on for another five months to ease Hansjörg into the new job.
A very strong friendship developed between Ted & Elfreda Booth and Hansjörg & Marlies Eichler that lasted for many years, the two families often having Christmas lunch together.
Another strong friendship and artistic collaboration from these days at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens was with Ludwik Dutkiewicz then the botanical artist for the Gardens.
After 1955 Ted pursues his interest in poetry, art and photography.
An oral history of Ted's early life, made by Anna Pope in 2011 is on YouTube (viewed in 2021), although it does not present very much information on his botanical activities: ['Ted's Story' link]
Source: Extracted from: YouTube oral history "Ted's Story":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEFLAbLSBlU (2011) by Anna Pope
Portrait Photo: [top] c.1927, [below] mid-1950s, Extracted from above YouTube video.
Data from 377 specimens in State Herbarium of Sth. Aust.