Friedrich Welwitsch

Friedrich Martin Josef Welwitsch (25 February 1806 – 20 October 1872) was an Austrian explorer and botanist who in Angola was the first European to describe the plant ''Welwitschia mirabilis''. His report received wide attention among the botanists and general public, comparable only to the discovery of two other plants in the 19th century, namely ''Victoria amazonica'' and ''Rafflesia arnoldii''.

In Angola, Welwitsch also discovered ''Rhipsalis baccifera'', the only cactus species naturally occurring outside the New World. It was found a few years later in Sri Lanka too, which reignited the now already one-and-a-half-century-old debate on the origin of cacti in Africa and Asia. At the time, the debate concluded with the conviction of numerous authors that they were introduced and spread by migratory birds.

Among the botanists, Welwitsch is also known after his descriptions of numerous other plants, for example ''Cyphostemma macropus'' (common name: Butter Tree), ''Tavaresia angolensis'' (common name: Devil's Trumpet), ''Dorstenia psilurus'', ''Sarcocaulon mossamedense'', ''Acanthosicyos horridus'', ''Pachypodium namaquanum'' and ''Pachypodium lealii''. The earthstar fungus ''Geastrum welwitschii'', a species he collected in Spain, is named in his honor. Provided by Wikipedia
Showing 1 - 3 results of 3 for search 'Welwitsch, Friedrich Martin Josef, 1806-1872', query time: 0.18s Refine Results
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
    by Ridley, Henry Nicholas, 1855-
    Published 1881
    Other Authors: ...Welwitsch, Friedrich Martin Josef, 1806-1872...
    Microform Book
Search Tools: RSS Feed Email Search