Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Tatham Whitehead

Dr Tatham Whitehead was a was a Botany Professor at the University College of North Wales located in Bangor in the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr Whitehead is credited with proposing that Eve gave Adam an apricot - not an apple - in the Garden of Eden. Dr Whitehead stated "The apple is not native to Mesopotamia. The only edible fruits there in the days of the biblical story were the apricot and the quince, and the quince was almost inedible."

Dr Whitehead designed and established a Bible Garden in the grounds of Bangor Cathedral, which is the one of the oldest Cathedral sites in Britain. It was his way of bringing the Bible to life by making a garden of the Biblical plants in the chronological order in which they are mentioned in the Bible story. The plants described in the Chapters of the Patriarchs, the Prophets, Kings and the Apostles were planted in discrete sections of the garden which survives to this day.

The difficulties in identifying many of the Biblical plants should not be under-estimated, but careful examination of all available evidence lead to virtual certainty in far more cases than might have been expected, and in others, to an identification based at least upon reasonable probabilities.

Through his research Dr Whitehead had developed a list that identified the 148 individual plants that are mentioned in the Bible and this is published on this website.