Edward Joseph Lowe

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E. J. Lowe (from Fern Growing, 1892, Peter Boyd Collection)

Edward Joseph Lowe FRS FGS FRAS FLS (11 November 1825 – 10 March 1900) was a renowned English botanist, who published papers on a wide variety of subjects, including meteorology, luminous meteors, sunspots, the zodiacal light, meteorological observations during the eclipse of 1860 (at Fuente del Mar, near Santander), conchology, ferns, grasses and other plants.[1]


Lowe was born in Highfield House, University Park Nottinghamshire. The son of Alfred J. Lowe, he began his scientific observations at the age of 15.[2]

His interest in ferns led to his studying them. His most noted work was Ferns: British and Exotic and consisted of eight illustrated volumes published in London by Groombridge and Sons in 1856. The bookplates of which were drawn by A. F. Lydon and engraved by Benjamin Fawcett.[citation needed] He collaborated on observations of luminous meteors with Professor Baden Powell of Oxford. Lowe invented the dry powder test for ozone in the atmosphere. He was one of the founders and original Fellows of the Meteorological Society and a Fellow of the Royal, the Geological, the Linnean, the Royal Astronomical and other learned Societies.

His candidature citation for the Royal Society read: The Author of "A Treatise on Atmospheric Phenomena" "Prognostications of the weather or signs of atmospheric changes." "a paper on 278 thunderstorms" & the Conchology of Nottingham, & various Papers on zodiacal light, meteors, 'Solar spots, Lana & Freshwater shells &c published in the Transactions of the British Association, Royal Astronomical Society, Zoological Society- &c - The discoverer of a new method of propagating cuttings of plants by the application of collodium. Distinguished for his acquaintance with the sciences of Meteorology & Natural History. Eminent asa Meteorologist - Having Published works on that Science. - and being actively employed in the cultivation of it [3]

He died at home, Shirenewton Hall, near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, on 10 March 1900.


  • Beautiful-Leaved Plants, being a Description of the Most Beautiful-Leaved Plants in Cultivation in this Country. Groombridge, London 1864

This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation E.J.Lowe when citing a botanical name.[4]



  1. ^ Lowe's obituary notice, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 61, pp. 185-186
  2. ^ Beeston: Then and Now by Robert Mellors, 1916.
  3. ^ "GB 117, The Royal Society, Item Ref No: EC/1867/12
  4. ^ Brummitt, R. K.; C. E. Powell (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-085-4. 

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