Jerzy Rzedowski

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Jerzy Rzedowski
Born Jerzy Rzędowski
(1926-12-27) December 27, 1926 (age 90)
Lwów, Poland
Nationality Mexican
Occupation Botanist
Known for Pioneer in Neotropical floristics
Spouse(s) Graciela Calderón

Jerzy Rzedowski Rotter (born December 27, 1926) is a Mexican botanist. He was born in Lwów, Poland (now in Ukraine).

While he was young he was made prisoner by the Germans. He remained in a concentration camp until World War II finished and he was liberated by the Allies. He then travelled to Mexico looking for a more peaceful country.

He studied a bachelor's degree in Biology at the Instituto Politecnico Nacional and a PhD in Botany at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. His thesis on the Flora of the Pedregal de San Angel was quite important at this stage of his career.

He worked at different companies and institutions such as Syntex, Smith, Kline & French, Colegio de Postgraduados, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí and Instituto Politecnico Nacional. He did not just work in the herbarium. He explored a lot of places surveying the local plant life. He collected more than 50000 specimens that can be found in many herbaria.

At the time that he started to work on Mexican floristics very few studies were published in that field, so he became a pioneer in it. Afterwards, he became the most respected botanist in Mexico.

Rzedowski is the author of Vegetación de México (1971), co-editor and co-author of Flora Fanerogámica del Valle de México (1979; 2001, 2nd edition), and of Flora del Bajío y de Regiones Adyacentes (1991–).

In 1995, he won the Asa Gray Award. In 1999 he was one of the botanists to whom it was conferred the Millennium Botany Award. In 2005 he was awarded the José Cuatrecasas Medal for Excellence in Tropical Botany.

The herbaria of Instituto Politecnico Nacional and of Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro are named after Rzedowski. The botanical garden of Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro is named after him as well.

The following taxa have been named after him:


  • Anderson, Christiane. "Jerzy Rzedowski-Recipient of the 1995 Asa Gray Award". Systematic Botany, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1996), pp. 1–2