Mulford Bateman Foster (December 25, 1888 – August 28, 1978) was a botanist known by many as the "Father of the Bromeliad" as he was instrumental in the discovery and introduction of many new species of Bromeliad to the United States. He also devoted his life to hybridizing and contributed widely to the knowledge of the plant species. He was a man of many talents including naturalist, explorer, writer, photographer, artist, horticulturist and a well-respected landscape architect in Florida. Numerous bromeliad plants found today are named after various Foster family members and the genus Fosterella is named in honor of his work.
He was born in Elmer, New Jersey to Samuel Preston Foster, Editor of the Elmer Times and Fannie Bateman a housewife with a green thumb and artistic leanings. He grew up exploring the woods around his New Jersey home under the guidance of his mother. With her inspiration, Mulford grew up making his own small gardens with the wild plants that