Odoardo Beccari (16 November 1843 – 25 October 1920) was an Italian naturalist perhaps best known for discovering the titan arum, the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, in Sumatra in 1878. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation Becc. when citing a botanical name.
An orphan from Florence, Beccari studied at a school in Lucca and the universities in Pisa and Bologna. After graduating, he spent a few months at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he met Charles Darwin, William Hooker and Joseph Hooker, and James Brooke, the first Rajah of Sarawak. The latter connection lead to him spending three years from 1865 to 1868 undertaking research in Sarawak, Brunei and other islands off present-day Malaysia and New Guinea. He discovered many new species of palms.
After an expedition to Ethiopia, he made a second trip to New Guinea, this time with ornithologist Luigi Maria d'Albertis in 1872. Here they collected zoological specimens, especially birds of paradise and ethnographic materials.
Beccari founded the Nuovo Giornale Botanico Italiano (New Italian Botanic Journal) in 1869, and also published his results in Bolletino della Società geografica Italiana. He found the Corpse Plant in 1878, located in Sumatra. In the same year, on his return to Florence, he became Director of the Botanic Garden of Florence as successor to Filippo Parlatore but resigned in the following year, 1879, after conflicts with the administration. In 1882 he married and had four sons.
Beccari's botanical collection now forms part of the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze.
The botanical journal Beccariana from Herbarium Manokwariense, Universitas Negeri Papua (Unipa), Papua, Indonesia, is named after Beccari, see external links below
- Malesia, raccolta d'osservazioni lese e papuano (three volumes, 1877–1889).
- Nelle Foreste di Borneo. Viaggi e ricerche di un naturalista (S. Landi, Florence, 1902).
- Asiatic Palms (1908).
- Palme del Madagascar descritte ed illustrate (1912).
- Nova Guinea, Selebes e Molucche. Diari di viaggio ordinati dal figlio Prof. Dott. Nello Beccari (La Voce, Florence, 1924).
Species named after Odoardo Beccari
- Bulbophyllum beccarii, an orchid
- Dacrydium beccarii, a conifer in the Podocarpaceae family
- Dryobalanops beccarii or Kapur Keladan, a tree in the Dipterocarpaceae family
- Haplolobus beccarii, a plant in the Burseraceae family
- Musa beccarii, a wild banana in the Musaceae family
- Palaquium beccarianum, a tree in the Sapotaceae family
- Acanthopelma beccarii, a tarantula
- Conraua beccarii, frog in the Ranidae family
- Crocidura beccarii, a shrew
- Varanus beccarii, a monitor lizard
- Brummitt, R. K.; Powell, C. E. (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-085-4.
- "Beccari, Odoardo". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
- O. Nalesini, L'Asia Sud-orientale nella cultura italiana. Bibliografia analitica ragionata, 1475–2005. Roma, Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, 2009, pp. 17–18 (Biography), 64–65 (travels), 385–390 (Botany) ISBN 978-88-6323-284-4.
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