Eduard Strasburger

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Eduard Strasburger.

Eduard Adolf Strasburger (1 February 1844, Warsaw – 19 May 1912 Bonn) was a Polish-German professor who was one of the most famous botanists of the 19th century.

He was born in Warsaw, Poland, son of Edward Bogumil Strasburger (1803–1874). In 1870 he married Aleksandra Julja Wertheim (1847–1902), and had two children: Anna (b.1870) and Juliusz (1871–1934).

Strasburger studied natural sciences in Paris, Bonn and Jena, receiving a PhD in 1866 after working with Nathanael Pringsheim. In 1868 he taught at the University of Warsaw. In 1869 he was appointed professor of botany at the University of Jena. Since 1881 he was head of the Botanisches Institut at the University of Bonn.

In botany, his auctorial abbreviation is Strasb.


Strasburger was a founder of the famous Lehrbuch der Botanik für Hochschulen (Textbook of Botany), which first appeared in 1894. He was the first to provide an accurate description of the embryonic sac in gymnosperms (such as conifers) and angiosperms (flowering plants), along with demonstrating double-fertilization in angiosperms. He came up with one of the modern laws of plant cytology: "New cell nuclei can only arise from the division of other nuclei." and originated the terms cytoplasm and nucleoplasm.

Together with Walther Flemming, and Edouard van Beneden he elucidated chromosome distribution during cell division. His work on the upward movement of tree sap proved that the process was physical and not physiological.


He was awarded the Linnean Society of London's prestigious Darwin-Wallace Medal in 1908.


  • "On Cell Formation and Cell Division", 1876 – a book in which he set forth the basic principles of mitosis
  • 1894 textbook Textbook of Botany (written with colleagues)


  • "Strasburger, Eduard Adolf" Encyclopædia Britannica (1979 ed)
  • "Science is in a Constant Flow": Live and Work of Eduard Strasburger (1844-1912)
  • Family Tree maintained by great-great-grandniece Elonka Dunin
  • Strasburger, Eduard (1898). Translated by Hobart Charles Porter, ed. A Text-book of Botany. Macmillan Publishers. p. 632 pages. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)