Jim Duke’s Legacy

A note from Celia Larsen, Jim Duke’s daughter:

Dr. James (Jim) Alan Duke
Born April 4th, 1929, Birmingham, AL. Died December 10th, 2017, Fulton, MD.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMy father was deeply devoted to many amazing communities of people and plants throughout his long and illustrious life. His love and knowledge of plants and the people who use them for food and medicine spanned the floras of the entire world. Whether you knew him as Jim, Dr. Duke, Dad or Grandpa, he always invited us to “listen to what the plants are telling us” in the form of chemistry, medicine and spirit.

In Maryland he was deeply committed to the people and plants of the Green Farmacy Garden at his home in Fulton. This garden, in the capable hands of Helen Lowe Metzman, Jared Gulliford, John Carl Duke, Holly Vogel and many others, serves as a sanctuary of education, conservation and healing for all who visit. I know it was my father’s wish that the Green Farmacy Garden be maintained in perpetuity as a place of botanical learning and community gathering, facilitated by our partnership with the Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH).


In Peru his heart is forever entwined with the Amazonian rain forest, especially with ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden. His love affair with the tropics began in Panama and later flourished in Peru where he traveled several times a year for decades being  “Father Hen” to hundreds and hundreds of students. He even hosted an Amazonian River Cruise for his entire family on La Amatista, which his children and grandchildren will never forget.

As we say good bye to his physical presence among us, we are charged with shaping his legacy in ways that would bring him joy and peace and honor his amazing life. I know that my father wished to see the Green Farmacy Garden preserved. I know he wished for students from all walks of life to be inspired by plant and herbal traditions, and I know that he wished for future generations to see the primary rainforest while they can. To these ends, we graciously accept any donations made in honor of James Alan Duke’s amazing life.

Click here to support the Green Farmacy Garden:

Click here to support Dr. Duke’s legacy in the Amazonian rainforest and beyond:

My father did not want a funeral service. A celebration of his life will take place in April 2018, just after what would have been his 89th birthday. Thank you for loving my father. His love lives on in his poetry and other writings, his teachings, his plants and his family and friends.

Celia (Cissy) Duke, David, Cena and Peter Larsen
John Carl, Sandy, Kara, and John James Duke, and Sara Borin
Peggy-Ann K. Duke
Email: celialarsen912@gmail.com