Edwin Percy Phillips

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Edwin Percy Phillips

Edwin Percy Phillips (18 February 1884 in Sea Point, Cape Town – 12 April 1967 in Cape Town), was a South African botanist and taxonomist, noted for his monumental work The Genera of South African Flowering Plants first published in 1926.

Phillips attended the South African College, which later became the University of Cape Town, where he graduated under Prof. Henry Harold Welch Pearson, obtaining a BA in 1903, an MA in 1908 and a DSc in 1915 for a treatise on the flora of the Leribe Plateau in Lesotho.

He was the son of Ralph Edwards Phillips and Edith Minnie Crowder. He married Edith Isabel Dawson about 1912 and they had 2 daughters before her death c1948. He secondly married Susan Kriel c1949.[1] Phillips named the genus Susanna belonging to the family Asteraceae after her.[2]

Timeline of career[edit]

  • 1907 Herbarium assistant at South African Museum (Prof. Pearson honorary curator)
  • 1910 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - with Otto Stapf and John Hutchinson described Proteaceae for Flora Capensis.
  • 1911 Curator of South African Museum Herbarium, succeeding Pearson who moved to the Bolus Herbarium
  • 1911 Joined Percy Sladen Memorial Expedition to the Kamiesberge
  • 1913 Field work on Leribe Plateau in Lesotho published in Ann. S.Afr. Mus. 16:1-379(1917)
  • 1918 Curator of National Herbarium, Pretoria
  • 1926 Botanical Survey Memoir No. 10 - The Genera of South African Flowering Plants arranged according to Dalla Torre & Harms.
  • 1931 "South African Grasses"
  • 1939 "The Weeds of South Africa"
  • 1939-44 Chief of the Division of Botany and Plant Pathology, succeeding I. B. Pole-Evans
  • 1944 Edited Christo Albertyn Smith and Estelle Van Hoepen's The Common Names of South African Plants
  • 1951 Second edition of The Genera of South African Flowering Plants [4]

Awards, honours and memberships[edit]

Selected works[edit]

  • A Contribution to the Knowledge of the South African Proteaceae - 1913
  • Contributions to the Flora of South Africa - 1913
  • Descriptions of New Plants from the Gift Berg collected by the Percy Sladen Memorial Expedition - 1913
  • A list of the Phanerogams and Ferns collected by Mr. P.C. Keytel on the Island of Tristan da Cunha, 1908-1909 - 1913
  • A note on the Flora of the Great Winterhoek Range (South African Journal of Science) - 1918
  • A Preliminary List of the Known Poisonous Plants found in South Africa (Botanical Survey of South Africa. Memoir) - 1926
  • An Introduction to the Study of the South African Grasses: With notes on their structure, distribution, cultivation, etc. (South African agricultural series) - 1931
  • Life and Living: A story for children - 1933
  • Civilization and our Biological Past
  • Herbaria and Botanical Institutions in the United States of America and Canada: In relation to similar institutions in South Africa : report on a visit ... of the Carnegie Corporation of New York - 1935
  • The Advancement of Science - 1943
  • The Genera of South African Flowering Plants (Botanical Survey Memoir) - 1951 [5]


  1. ^ RootsWeb
  2. ^ Plant Names
  3. ^ IPNI.  E.Phillips. 
  4. ^ Botanical Exploration of Southern Africa - Gunn & Codd
  5. ^ Amazon Books