Boris Fedtschenko

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Boris Fedtschenko
Boris Alexeevich Fedtschenko

(1872-12-27)27 December 1872
Died29 September 1947(1947-09-29) (aged 74)
Leningrad, Soviet Union
Occupation(s)Plant pathologist, botanist

Boris Alexeevich Fedtschenko (27 December 1872 – 29 September 1947) was a Russian plant pathologist and botanist. He is primarily known for his work on various regions of Russia, especially the Caucasus, Siberia and Asiatic Russia. He was also head botanist at the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden.


Boris Fedtschenko was the son of botanists Olga Fedtschenko and Alexei Pavlovich Fedchenko.[1] He was born in Leipzig, while his parents were on an expedition in Western Europe.[2] In 1873, eight months after he was born, Alexei was killed in a climbing accident on Mont Blanc.

Olga studied natural sciences at the University of Moscow.[2] Between 1891 and 1892, she undertook the first of many trips with her son, going first to the Ural Mountains.[2] In the summer of 1893, they explored the Crimea twice, 17 to 28 June, then July 29 to August 1. They made a large circular botanical voyage around the Crimean Mountains and collected in the Sevastopol area.[3]

In 1894, they explored Transcaucasia. In 1897, they studied the flora of the western Tian Mountains.[2] Between 1898 and 1899, Fedtschenko became a botanist at the Imperial Botanic Garden in St Petersburg.[4] In 1901, Olga and Boris went on a botanical expedition in the Pamir Mountain range. Later they published Materiaux pour la flore du Caucase (1901), Flora of the Pamirs (1901) and Conspectus Florae Turkestanicae (1913),[1] which covered 4145 species.[4]

Between 1899 and 1904, their large collections (including 700+ specimens from SW Crimea) were carefully studied and completely reflected in a series of papers.[3] The plant collection was later given to the Botanic Garden, and is now one of its most notable collections.[5]

By 1902, he was the head of the botanic garden's herbarium. This also meant he was responsible for editing the garden's periodical (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute), which was started in 1919. It conducted fieldwork in Central Asia during the 1920s, which added species information to the Flora SSSR project.

He also published several works in Trudy Imp. S.-Peterburgsk. Bot. Sada (Proceedings of the St.Petersburg Botanical Garden), including Eritrichium pamiricum in 1903, based on the expeditions.[6]

In 1904, he published Novitae florae Turkestanciae,[7] which was also translated into German in 1914 - Übersicht sämtlicher bis jetzt für den Russischen Turkestan.[8]

In 1908, he stopped the publication of the botanic garden's journal Botanicheskij Zhurnal (Ботаническiй Журналъ), which had been published from 1906 to 1908. With the help of algologist and mycologist Alexandr Alexandrovich Elenkin and botanist Alexandr Fedorovich Flerow, Fedtschenko started a new independent journal called Journal Russe de Botanique (Русскій ботаническiй журналъ). It published issues eight times a year, until 1915 when World War 1 started and financial cutbacks had to be made.[9]

Between 1908 and 1910, Fedtschenko and Flerow published Flora Evropejskoj Rossii (Flora of the European Part of Russia), which contained 3,542 new species. This large piece of work also had contributions from other botanists.[10]

In 1907, 1908 and 1910, they also published the three-part volume Okskaya Flora (Flora of the Oka).[10]

After they published the Flora volumes, they were criticized by several botanists including, F.S. Nenyukov, N.I. Kusnezov and Eduard Regel, due to its very short descriptions. But this made the books very compact and portable, and therefore very widely used.[10]

In 1910 and 1915, Boris and his mother (now aged 70), returned to Turkestan for more plant hunting expeditions.[2]

In 1930, he attended the Fifth International Botanical Congress held at the Imperial Institute, in London. He attended the International Congress of Tropical Agriculture and Colonial Development (discussing cotton in Egypt).[11]

Boris collaborated with many institutions, including Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Garden of Geneva.[2]

Also in 1930, Fedtschenko started organising botanists around Russia to survey plants and report their findings to create a national plant survey.[1]

In 1931, the Imperial Botanic Garden and Imperial Botanical Museum were merged to create the Komarov Botanical Institute. Vladimir Komarov was head of the museum and, as such, outranked Fedtschenko. He then took over responsibility for the Flora SSSR project and became its editor-in-chief. Eventually the thirty-volume project was completed and published in 1964, after Fedtschenko had died in 1947. The volumes covered some 17,500 plant species, and represented a huge step forwards for Russian botany.[1]

Boris Fedtschenko died on 29 September 1947 in Leningrad (now called St Petersburg).[12]

The specific epithet fedtschenkoi honors botanist Boris Fedtschenko.[4][13][14] The epithet fedtschenkoanus also refers to him,[15] but fedtschenkoi refers to his father's and mother's work.

Significant other works of the 1900s include:

  • Plantea assiae mediea by Olga Fedtschenko and B. Fedtschenko (1906-1916)
  • Jakutskaja flora (1907) by B. Fedtschenko
  • Flora Evropejskoj Rossii (1908-1910) by B. Fedtschenko and Alexandr F. Flerow
  • Flora Asiatskoj Rossii (1912-1924) by B. Fedtschenko and Alexandr F. Flerow
  • Flora Rossiae Austro-orientalis (1927-1936, index in 1938) by B. Fedtschenko and Boris K. Schischkin[16]

He is the botanical author of many species of plant and tree, including Abies sibirica var. semenovii (1899),[17] Echinops tschimganicus(1911), Gypsophila bucharica(1911),[18] Nephrodium amurense (1918),[19] and Saussurea turgaiensis (1910).[20]

He is mentioned in D.J. Mabberley's portable plant books of 1997.[22][23]

Other sources[edit]

  • S.G. Shetler, 1967, The Komarov Botanical Institute
  • Brummitt, R.K. & Powell, C.E., Authors Pl. Names (1992): page196
  • Jackson, B.D., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew (1901): page22
  • Lanjouw, J. & Stafleu, F.A., Index Herb. Coll. E-H (1957): page192


  1. ^ a b c d "Fedtschenko, Boris Alexejewitsch (Alexeevich) (1872-1947)". JSTOR 000331113. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f VL Komarov Комаров В. Л., Ольга Александровна Федченко. Некролог [Obituary for Olga Alexandrovna Fedchenko] // Изв. Росс. акад. наук, 6 серия. 1921 Т. 15 pages1-18
  3. ^ a b Seregin, Alexey P. (2008). "Contribution to the vascular flora of the Sevastopol area (the Crimea): A check list and new records" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c D. Gledhill The Names of Plants , p. 164, at Google Books
  5. ^ "Shetler, Stanwyn G. The Komarov Botanical Institute, 250 Years of Russian Research. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1967". 1967. p. 30. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Eritrichium pamiricum". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  7. ^ Boris Fedtschenko QRLtwAACAAJ at Google Books
  8. ^ Sennikov, Alexander N.; Lazkov, Georgy A.; Uotila, Pertti; Weber, Heinrich E. (2011). "Taxonomic corrections and new records in vascular plants of Kyrgyzstan" (PDF). Memoranda Soc. Fauna Flora Fennica. p. 61. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  9. ^ Doweld, Alexander (June 2010). "Taxonomic Literature Addenda. Dates of publication of the Journal Russe de Botanigue/Russkij Botanicheskij Zhurnal (Русский ботанический журнал)". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Andrei Aleksandrovich, Fedorov, and Andrei Evgenevich Bobrov (Editors)of Russia, Volume 1&pg=PA2 VfkVAwAAQBAJ, p. 2, at Google Books
  11. ^ Seward, A.C., ed. (1910). "Fifth International Botanical Congress Vol 8". p. 134. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  12. ^ Dorr, L.J.; Nicolson, Dan H. (2008). Taxonomic literature A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G. p. 85. ISBN 978-3-906166-65-0.
  13. ^ Raymond-Hamet & H. Perrier de la Bathie. Troisième Contribution a l'Étude des Crassulacées Malagaches. (1915) Annales du Musée colonial de Marseille ser.3:3:63-121
  14. ^ [1] SM Growers
  15. ^ Urs Eggli, Leonard E. Newton Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names, p. 82, at Google Books
  16. ^ David G. Frodin Guide to Standard Floras of the World: An Annotated, Geographically Arranged , p. 38,661,, at Google Books
  17. ^ Henry John Elwes, Augustine Henry The Trees of Great Britain and Ireland, p. 758, at Google Books
  18. ^ "Gypsophila bucharica Fedtschenko". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  19. ^ "Nephrodium amurense B.Fedtschenko". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Saussurea turgaiensis B.Fedtsch". Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  21. ^ International Plant Names Index.  B.Fedtsch.
  22. ^ D. J. Mabberley The Plant-book: A Portable Dictionary of the Vascular Plants (2nd Edit), p. 822, at Google Books
  23. ^ D. J. Mabberley The Plant-book: A Portable Dictionary of Plants, their cultivation and uses, p. 980, at Google Books

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