Create your own conference schedule! Click here for full instructions

Abstract Detail

Bryological and Lichenological Section/ABLS


Richard Spruce: Ninetenth Century Amazon Explorer, Bryologist and Grower of Cinchona trees for quinine--a New Appraisal.

Richard Spruce (1819-1893), perhaps best known to botanists as the father of South American hepaticology, spent fifteen years in Amazonia, much longer than his contemporary Amazon explorer-naturalists, Alfred Russel Wallace and Thomas Bates. Unlike these men and the earlier Charles Darwin, all of whom collected plants, Spruce was a trained botanist and had already published botanical, including bryological paters; he was sent to South America specifically to collect plants. Despite a great many tropical illnesses and misadventures, Spruce succeeded in growing Cinchona trees and in sending plants and seeds back to Kew. He also brought back seven thoursand species of flowering plants and a great many new mosses and hepatics, as well as ferns and fungi. After his return to England he was too busy studying his plants and writing scientific papers to write a travel book, like the best sellers of Darwin, Wallace and Bates, but Wallace wrote one for him, incoporating a great deal of Spruce's extensive journals.  In addtion Spruce's many Amazon letters to William Hooker, then Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, have provided further insights into his botanical collecting and discoveriies. of interest to bryologists and vascular plant botanists as well as to geographers and linguists.

Log in to add this item to your schedule

1 - The Sage Colleges, Biology, 45 Ferry St., Troy, NY, 12180, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 29
Location: River Fork/Grove
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 3:45 PM
Number: 29009
Abstract ID:706
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright 2000-2013, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved