This is compililation of biographical information on agriculturalists, botanists, plant collectors, gardeners, botanical illustrators, and so forth. This list is by no means complete, but it will help you begin your research.
Bailey, L. H. Cyclopedia of American Agriculture; A Popular Survey of
Agricultural Conditions, Practices and Ideals in the United States and
Canada. New York: Macmillan Co, 1907. [Available online]
S493 .B2 vol. 1-4 [vol. 4 contains an extensive biography section, including that of A. A. Abbot]
Barnhart, John Hendley. Biographical Notes Upon Botanists. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1965.
QK26 .B3 vol. 1-3 - MSU Oversized collection
Britten, James, George Simonds Boulger, and A. B. Rendle. A Biographical Index of Deceased British and Irish Botanists, 2d ed., rev. and completed by A.B. Rendle. London: Taylor and Francis, 1931.
Z5358.G7 B8 1931
Bush-Brown, Louise. Men with Green Pens; Lives of the Great Writers on Plants in Early Times. Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1964.
Dies, Edward Jerome. Titans of the Soil; Great Builders of Agriculture. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1949.
Donaldson, John. Agricultural Biography: Containing a Notice of the
Life and Writings of the British Authors on Agriculture from the
Earliest Date in 1480 to the Present Time. London: Printed for the author, 1854.
Z5075 .G8 D7
Dodge, Bertha S. It Started in Eden: How the Plant-Hunters and the Plants They Found Changed the Course of History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1979.
Getman, Arthur Kendall, and R. W. Gregory. Contributions of Leading Americans to Agriculture. Des Moines, Ia: Meredith Pub. Co, 1940.
Gribbin, Mary, and John R. Gribbin. Flower Hunters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
QK26 .G75 2008
Hadfield, Miles. Pioneers in Gardening. London: Routledge & Paul, 1955.
Hawks, Ellison, and George Simonds Boulger. Pioneers of Plant Study. Freeport N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1969.
QK26 .H35 1969
Healey, Ben. The Plant Hunters. New York: Scribner, 1975.
Isely, Duane. One Hundred and One Botanists. Ames: Iowa State University, 1994.
QK26 .I75 1994
Kramer, Jack, and Linda Sunshine. Women of Flowers: A Tribute to Victorian Women Illustrators. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1996.
MSU FINE ARTS--ART REF - QK98.18 .K73 1996
Lyte, Charles. The Plant Hunters. London: Orbis Pub, 1983.
QK26 .L98 1983
McDonald, Donald. Agricultural writers [electronic resource]: from Sir Walter of Henley to Arthur Young, 1200-1800: reproductions in facsimile and extracts from their actual writings, enlarged and revised from articles which have appeared in "The Field," from 1903 to 1907: To which is added an exhaustive bibliography. London : H. Cox, 1908.
Nilsson, Karen. A Wild Flower by Any Other Name: Sketches of Pioneer Naturalists Who Named Our Western Plants. Yosemite National Park, CA: Yosemite Assoc., 1994.
QK26 .N67 1994
Pulteney, Richard. Historical and Biographical Sketches of the
Progress of Botany in England: From Its Origin to the Introduction of
the Linnaean System. London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1790.
MSU SPEC COLL RARE BOOKS - XX QK21.G7 .P9 1790
Tyler-Whittle, Michael Sidney. The Plant Hunters, Being an
Examination of Collecting, with an Account of the Careers & the
Methods of a Number of Those Who Have Searched the World for Wild Plants. Philadelphia: Chilton Book Co, 1970.
Voss, Edward G. Botanical Beachcombers and Explorers: Pioneers of the 19th Century in the Upper Great Lakes. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Herbarium, 1978.
Series: Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium ; v. 13.
QK77 .M3 v.13 v.13
Ward, Bobby J. The Plant Hunter's Garden: The New Explorers and Their Discoveries. Portland: Timber Press, 2004.
SB454 .W248 2004