Guide to the plant species descriptions published in seed lists from Botanic Gardens for the period 1800 - 1900.
By: Cees W.J. Lut (formerly: Chief Librarian National Herbarium of the Netherlands)
(in cooperation with J.F.Veldkamp)
Welcome to this electronic and interactive guide to descriptions of new plants species published in seed lists.
Botanical Gardens have produced for a long time annual seed lists for exchange. In some European ones of the 19th century it was customary to include diagnoses, descriptions, and notes either in footnotes or in appendices. These lists were printed in a very limited edition and past issues generally were not kept. None of the old and large libraries in the world has a complete set of them, and the collections that they do have are usually incomplete. Smaller or more recent libraries probably have none at all. The Library of the NBC (Naturalis Biodiversity Centre: section National Herbarium of the Netherlands) in Leiden, and the Hortus botanicus (Leiden University) has a large collection of seed lists, but it, too, is far from complete. Collaboration with other libraries and taxonomists was essential.
I am therefore very grateful to Folmer Arnklit, Copenhagen (Denmark), Arthur Chapman, Toowoomba South (Australia), Gianniantonio Domina, Palermo (Italy), Brian Doggett, Worth School, Turner's Hill (UK), Stephan Dressler, Frankfurt am Main (Germany), Michael Kiehn, Vienna (Austria), Toomas Kukk, Tartu (Estonia), Manuela De Matteis Tortora, Napoli (Italy), Magdalena Murlarczyk, Wroclaw (Poland), and to the Institute of Botany - University of Vienna (Austria), Life Sciences Library (Botany Section), University of Liege (Belgium), National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Meise (Belgium), Tallinn Botanic Garden, Tallinn (Estonia), Institut National d'Horticulture, Angers (France), Museum d'Histoire Naturelle - Ville de Grenoble (France), Botanischen Garten und Botanischen Museum, Berlin-Dahlem (Germany), Bücherei des Deutschen Gartenbaues e.V., Berlin (Germany), Institut für Allgemeine Botanik, Hamburg (Germany), Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest (Hungary), Biblioteca dell'Orto Botanico, Padova (Italy), Komarov Botanical Library, St.Petersburg (Russia), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Scotland/UK), Conservatoire & Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Chambésy (Switzerland), The Linnean Society of London, London (UK), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), Harvard University Botany Libraries, Cambridge (U.S.A.) Missouri Botanical Garden, St.Louis (U.S.A.), for providing me with copies of seed lists in their libraries.
In some cases the information was republished in contemporary scientific journals like Linnaea, Flora and Annales des Sciences Naturelles (Paris) and so became available to the general public. This website contains about 4800 new genera and species. It was difficult to go for all, locating all lists was impossible. Errors and omissions found in the Index Kewensis (and IPNI) were sent to IPNI.
The current project aims to make the original descriptions in a searchable database available, with the title page of the seed list and its date of publication or an estimate thereof.
I feel that such a guide would fill a gap and be of great use in places where botanical nomenclature and the history of horticulture are being studied.