Ellen Hutchins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ellen Hutchins (1785–1815) was an early Irish botanist.

Life and work[edit]

Hutchins was from Ardnagashel, Ballylickey, where her family had a small estate at the head of Bantry Bay, County Cork. Her father was a magistrate and died when she was two years old, leaving a wife and six children. She moved to Dublin and was looked after by Dr. Whitley Stokes, a medical doctor and naturalist. She befriended Scot James Townsend Mackay (1775–1862), a curator at the Botanic Garden of Trinity College. His influence helped her in the classification of plants she was collecting. She contributed to his Flora Hibernica. Hutchins was an avid collector of cryptogamic species, and their pictorial representations. She collected around her homeplace in Bantry and in Belfast and in the West of Ireland. She had a major influence in the collection and line drawing of seaweeds. In 1807 these were sent to Dawson Turner's Fuci. She also contributed in 1804 to his Muscologiae Hibernicae Specilegium, the first work on Irish mosses. She contributed to Lewis Weston Dillwyn's work British Confervae. Her rare finds included lichens, and three species are called after her:

  • Lecania hutchinsiae
  • Pertusaria hutchinsiae
  • Enterographa hutchinsiae

At least three marine algae are named in her honour:

  • Cladophora hutchinsiae (Dillwyn) Kützing (= Conferva hutchinsiae Dillwyn)[1]
  • Dasya hutchinsiae Harvey[2]
  • Ceramium hutchinsiae Mertens[3]

On her death her collection passed to Dawson Turner and are now in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with some in Sheffield City Museum.

The genus Hutchinsia (Brassicaceae) was named in her honour and, even if now replaced by the name Hornungia, the common name "Hutchinsia" persists in the UK for Hornungia petraea. C. Agardh

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Staff. "Species Search: Cladophora hutchinsiae". AlgaeBase. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  2. ^ Staff. "Species Search: Dasya hutchinsiae". AlgaeBase. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  3. ^ Staff. "Species Search: Ceramium hutchinsiae". AlgaeBase. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 


  • Butler, Patricia (2000). Irish botanical illustrators and flower painters. Suffolk: Antique collectors club. p. 22. ISBN 9781851493579. 
  • Dawson Turner, Fuci Vol. IV, London 1807-1819,
  • Robert Braithwaithe The British Moss-Flora, London 1887-1905
  • Newsletter and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, Vol 19, No 4, Oct 2003, page 18.

External links[edit]