December 2009
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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 [...]

Erik Leonard Ekman

Pedicularis palustris

Erik Leonard Ekman (1883-1931) is well-known for his extensive collections from Cuba and Hispaniola (he collected some astounding 36000 numbers, of which many are types), and we will come back to him many times. But for the start, a Pedicularis opsiantha collected and described by him in Småland, Sweden, at the young [...]

Chinese Aconitum

Aconitum campylorrhynchum

This Aconitum (Swedish: stormhatt) was collected by Harry Smith in the Sichuan Province, China. Aconitum is a large genus with some 100 spp, several cultivated and nearly all poisonous (alkaloids).

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Babiana II

Babiana angustifolia

One more Babiana, the last for some time now. Collected by the danish collector and apothecary Christian Friedrich Ecklon (1795-1868) who was one of the first systematic collectors in South Africa. This specimen was collected in 1826, and still some of its colour is preserved. The two oldest labels are written in [...]


Babiana scabrifolia

Babiana is an African genus of family Iridaceae (Iris family) with some 90 spp. Some are cultivated, don’t know about this one though. Thought it is a nice specimen, with the drawing. The corms of these plants are edible, and were eaten by “settlers, baboons & porcupines”. says Mabberley (citing Goldblatt). By [...]