Eduard Friedrich Poeppig

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Eduard Friedrich Poeppig.

Eduard Friedrich Poeppig (16 July 1798 – 4 September 1868) was a German botanist, zoologist and explorer.


He was born in Plauen, Saxony. He studied medicine and natural history at the University of Leipzig, graduating with a medical degree. On graduation, the rector of the university gave him a botanical mission to North and South America. He was helped out financially by a small group of friends and scientists in Leipzig, that included botanist Christian Friedrich Schwägrichen, who in exchange, received sets of specimens.[1] He subsequently worked as a naturalist in Cuba (1823–24) and Pennsylvania (1824–26). In 1826 he departed for Valparaiso, Chile, and spent several years performing scientific exploration throughout Chile, Peru and Brazil.[2] As a result of his journey in South America, he published "Reise in Chile, Peru und auf dem Amazonenstrome, während der Jahre 1827-1832" (2 volumes).[1]

In the autumn of 1832, he returned to Germany with significant zoological and botanical collections — several hundred stuffed animals, a collection of ethnographic objects and more than 17,000 dried plants.[1][3] During the following year, he became an associate professor at the University of Leipzig, where in 1834 he was named director of its zoological museum. In 1846 he attained a full professorship at Leipzig, a position he maintained until his death in 1868.[2][4] He contributed to the establishment of a scientific museum in Leipzig, and bequeathed to it some of his collections, with the remainder being sent to museums in Berlin and Vienna.[1]

In South America he described numerous new species of plants. His botanical magnum opus, "Nova genera ac Species Plantarum quas in regno, Chiliensi, Peruviano, ac Terra Amazonica, anni 1827-1832 lectarum" was published in three volumes. In it he described 31 new genera and 477 new species. For the first two volumes he collaborated with Stephan Endlicher.[1]


The plant genus Poeppigia is named after him, as are taxa with the specific epithets of poeppigii and poeppigiana,[1][5] a few examples being: the silvery woolly monkey (Lagothrix poeppigii), toad Rhinella poeppigii,[6] the orchid Campylocentrum poeppigii (Rchb. f.) Rolfe, and the angiosperm species Guatteria poeppigiana Mart..[7]

Written works[edit]

  • "Fragmentum synopseos plantarum phanerogamarum", (1833).
  • Selbstanzeige der Reisebeschreibung in Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung, (1835).
  • Reise in Chile, Peru und auf dem Amazonenstrome während der Jahre 1827-1832, 2 volumes (1834–36) – Travel in Chile, Peru, and on the Amazon river during the years 1827-1832.
  • "Nova genera ac species plantarum, quas in regno Chilensi Peruviano et in terra Amazonica: annis MDCCCXXVII ad MDCCCXXXII" (with Stephan Ladislaus Endlicher); (1835–45)
  • Reise nach den Vereinigten Staaten (1837) – Travel to the United States.
  • Über alte und neue Handelswege nach der Westküste Amerikas, (On old and new trade routes to the west coast of the Americas; 1838).
  • Landschaftliche Ansichten und erlauternde Darstellungen (Views of countryside with explanation; 1839).

Poeppig was a primary contributor of ethnological, geographical, and biological articles about the Americas for the "Allgemeine Encyclopaedie", edited by Ersch and Gruber.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g JSTOR Global Plants Poeppig, Eduard Friedrich (1798-1868)
  2. ^ a b ADB: Poeppig, Eduard @ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  3. ^ Sächsische Biografie biographical information
  4. ^ Professorenkatalog der Universität Leipzig biographical sketch
  5. ^ Florida Keys Wildflowers: A Field Guide to Wildflowers, Trees, Shrubs by Roger L. Hammer
  6. ^ Varela-Jaramillo, A. and Ron, S. R. (2015). "Rhinella poeppigii". Ron, S. R., Guayasamin, J. M., Yanez-Muñoz, M. H., Merino-Viteri, A., Ortiz, D. A. and Nicolalde, D. A. 2014. AmphibiaWebEcuador. Version 2014.0. Museo de Zoología, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (QCAZ). Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  7. ^ The Plant List Guatteria poeppigiana
  8. ^ "Author Query for 'Poepp.'". International Plant Names Index. 


  • Urban, Ignaz. Notae biographicae, Symb. Antill. 3:103,1900.