February 2024
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Not really a strawberry...?

Alchemilla taernaënsis

If you want to see this newly described (1993) Alchemilla taernaensis you have to go up quite far north, to Lyckelse Lappmark in northern Sweden, the only region in the world where it grow. Alchemilla is a genus with several hundred species mostly in Eurasian temperate and subarctic regions. Many of these species [...]

True Mahogany, another soon-no-more?!

Swietenia mahagoni

Cuban mahogany, the “original” mahogany introduced to Europe five centuries ago, before it was almost extinct in the wild (wherever that is; since it has been introduced to many areas it is now difficult to know where it is natural). The remaining populations are now of poor quality, through “genetic erosion”, that is [...]

Soon no more?

Dactyladenia cinerea

Wanted! More collections! And recent ones, please! But I doubt it ever will be collected again; according to the IUCN Red List it has only been collected once (in 1904), in an area now mostly turned into agriculture land… For the time being, it is listed as Critically Endangered, but can probably be [...]

Solander's hair?

Acrostichum calomelanos

Is it the great Linnaean disciple Daniel Solander’s (1733-1782) hair that is stuck under the frond? Or even Linnaeus’?! This Pityrogramma calomelanos was collected on Jamaica in the 18C, perhaps by Patrick Browne (1720-1790). It is a widely cultivated and naturalized species (“first colonizer of erupted volcanoes in Mex.”), used as ornamental. Mabberley [...]

On sail, a last time…

Acaena lucida

On the last major exploration voyage made entirely under sail, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) collected this Acaena lucida on the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in the early 1840’s. J.D. Hooker was later to become one of Charles Darwin’s closest friends, and he was the one who made the formal presentation of [...]


Deschampsia flexuosa

Nothing particular with this South American grass (what I know), more than a pretty plant collected by Nils Johan Andersson (1821-80), professor at our department (1856-79). The grass was collected when he took part in the first Swedish circumnavigation (with Eugénie, 1851-53).

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Erik Leonard Ekman V

Henriettella ekmanii

WW1 broke out shortly after Erik Ekman arrived to the Swedish colony in Bayate, bringing chaos to the world. Ekman was quite happy to spend his time in a remote place on Cuba. Together with Johan August Nyström he summited Pico Turquino (1974 masl), the highest peak on Cuba, and there he [...]

Erik Leonard Ekman IV

Acalypha cubensis

Ekman had to be persuaded to make a brief stop at Cuba on his travel to Brazil via Hispaniola, and he didn’t have high expactations on this island, said to be thoroughly explored by botanists from USA. For various reasons his travel from Cuba was delayed (for 10 years!), and it didn’t [...]

Erik Leonard Ekman III

Cissus verticillata

February 1914 Erik L Ekman received his Ph.D., and just a few months later, in April, he saw Cuba for the first time. Among the first plants he collected was this Cissus, but he would collect many, many more from Cuba and Hispaniola (he was heading for Brazil, never to arrive there; [...]

Erik Leonard Ekman II

Acalypha communis

Erik Ekman (1883-1931) travelled early to South America, and visited the Swedish Misionary Colony in Misiones, Argentina, for three months 1907-1908, where he collected this new variety of Acalypha communis. While in Misiones he was offered a position as Regnellian Amanuensis here at the museum. This was far from the end of [...]