Botanist Explorer Scientist

William Franklin Wight

Quick Facts

IntroAmerican botanist
Was Scientist
From United States of America
Type Science
Birth 8 June 1874, Michigan, USA
Death 1954
(aged 79 years)
Star signGemini
Michigan State CollegeMichigan State CollegeBachelor’s


William Franklin Wight (born June 8, 1874 — February 2, 1954) was a British-American botanist who specialized in the flora of India. The abbreviation “W.Wight” is used to indicate William Franklin Wight as an authority on the scientific description and classification of plants.

Life and career

Wight was born on June 8, 1874. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State College in 1894. He moved to the United States in 1899 and became a botany assistant at Stanford University, California. 

From 1900 onwards, he worked for several years for the United States Department of Agriculture, from where he received his doctorate in 1928.

Wight was a lecturer at Stanford from 1926 to 1941. He conducted a number of botanical field experiments at the university, overseeing an experimental planting for fruit tree breeding, which was carried out by the university together with the Ministry of Agriculture. Some of the apricot and peach varieties bred here were also used commercially. The planting was abandoned in 1941, with Wight’s departure.


Wight died on February 2, 1954, at his ranch in Southern California.


  • The History of the Cowpea and its Introduction Into America
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  • Native American Species Of Prunus (1915)
  • The Varieties of Plums Derived From Native American Species 


  • Robert Zander: Zander Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen. Hrsg. von Fritz Encke, Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold. 13., neubearbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5.
  • Ex Farm Botanist W.F. Wight Dies The Stanford Daily, 3. February 1954.