The bunya pine was given its scientific name Araucaria bidwillii in 1843 by Sir William Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Hooker named the tree after John Came Bidwill, a colleague who had been in Australia and who provided Hooker with a detailed description of the tree and specimens of a young plant and samples of a branch and nut. Controversy has surrounded the ‘discovery’ and naming of the bunya, not the least that Andrew Petrie was the first to identify the tree and it was tentatively called Pinus petrieana. This controversy is discussed briefly elsewhere in this journal by John Huth. The purpose of this paper is to examine Bidwill's role in identifying the bunya and whether Hooker was justified in his decision to honour Bidwill in the nomenclature.