- This article is about the German botanist, not to be confused with Ernst Mayr, German Communist leader Ernst Meyer (German politician) (1887-1930), or Swedish politician Ernst Meyer (Swedish politician) (1847-1925).
Ernst Heinrich Friedrich Meyer (1 January 1791 Hanover, Brunswick-Lüneburg – 7 August 1858 Königsberg, East Prussia) was a German botanist and botanical historian. Born in Hanover, he lectured in Göttingen and in 1826 became a professor of botany at the University of Königsberg, as well as Director of the Botanical Garden. His botanical specialty was the Juncaceae, or family of rushes. His major work was the four-volume Geschichte der Botanik (“History of Botany,” 1854–57). His history covered ancient authorities such as Aristotle and Theophrastus, explored the beginnings of modern botany in the context of 15th- and 16th-century intellectual practice, and offered a wealth of biographical data on early modern botanists. Julius von Sachs pronounced him “no great botanist” but admitted that he “possessed a clever and cultivated intellect.”
During his time as private tutor at the University of Göttingen he made the acquaintance of Goethe, who had a surprising passion for botany.
The fourth volume of Geschichte der Botanik is available online. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation E.Mey. when citing a botanical name.
- ^ Department of Systematic Botany, Albrecht von Haller Institute of Plant Sciences, Georg August University Göttingen, Index Collectorum.
- ^ Julius Sachs, History of Botany (1530–1860), translated by Henry E.F. Garnsey, revised by Isaac Bayley Balfour (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890), pp. 13, 17, 20–32, 376–377.
- ^ Julius Sachs, History of Botany (1530–1860) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1890), p. 161.
- ^ Brummitt, R. K.; C. E. Powell (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-085-4.