Johannes Jacobus Smith

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Johannes Jacobus Smith (Antwerp 29 June 1867 – Oegstgeest 14 January 1947) (sometimes written as Joannes Jacobus Smith) was a Dutch botanist who, between years 1905 to 1924, crossed the islands of the Dutch East Indies (mainly Java), collecting specimens of plants and describing and cataloguing the flora of these islands. The standard botanical author abbreviation J.J.Sm. is applied to plants described by J.J. Smith.

The description of the flowers of the western half of New Guinea (then a Dutch territory) is largely based on his work. He was, next to Rudolf Schlechter, the most prolific author on New Guinea orchids. He also described numerous plants from other families, such as Ericaceae and Euphorbiaceae.


J.J. Smith sailed to Java in 1891 and became assistant curator at the Buitenzorg Botanical Gardens (near Batavia), now Bogor. He made several expeditions in Java, Celebes (now Sulawesi), the Ambon Islands and the Moluccas. In 1905 he was promoted to assistant of the herbarium. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D. degree at the Utrecht University in 1910. Finally, he was appointed the director of the Botanical Gardens at Buitenzorg from 1913 till his retirement in 1924. He then returned to Holland, settled in Utrecht and later in Oegstgeest, near Leiden. He continued describing orchids till shortly before his death in 1947, such as naming the Sumatran orchid Dendrochilum atjehense]] J.J.Sm. 1943.

Botanical accomplishments[edit]

J.J.Smith studied and described hundreds of orchid species, amongst others :

He named several orchid genera:

Selected publications[edit]

He was the author of many taxonomic papers.

  • Smith, Joannes Jacobus. : ‘Orchidaceae van Ambon. - Batavia, 1905. (in Dutch)
  • Smith, Joannes Jacobus. Aanteekeningen over orchideeën. - [S.l.], 1920. - 5 dl. (in Dutch)
  • Smith, Joannes Jacobus. : The Orchidaceae of Dr. W. Kaudern's expedition to Selebes. - [S.l.], 1926
  • Smith, Joannes Jacobus. : Enumeration of the Orchidaceae of Sumatra and neighbouring islands. - Dahlem bei Berlin, 1933.
  • Smith, J.J. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Saprophyten Javas. XII-XIV: Burmannia tuberosa Becc. Leiden.. 102-138 pp. 16 lithogr. plts.
  • Koorders, S.H. & J.J.Smith. Ericacea - Gentianaceae - Corsiaceae - Polugalaceae. Leiden, 1912. 14 pp. 46 lithogr. plts.
  • Koorders, Sijfert Hendrik, Theodoric Valeton & Johannes Jacobus Smith: Bijdrage no. 1 [-13] tot de kennis der boomsoorten op Java. Additamenta ad cognitionem Florae javanicae … Batavia & ‘s Gravenhage, G. Kolff, 1894–1914, 13 volumes (J.J.Smith is the sole author of volume 12 and of volume 13 in collaboration with Theodoric Valeton)
  • J.J. Smith et al. - 's Lands Plantentuin Buitenzorg. Gedenkschrift ter gelegenheid van het honderdjarig bestaan op 18 mei 1917. Eerste gedeelte. (Buitenzorg, 1917) (in Dutch)
  • J.J. Smith - Geïllustreerde gids voor 's Lands Plantentuin Buitenzorg pp 60 pb Buitenzorg, zj ±1925 (in Dutch)

Reference works[edit]

  1. ^ IPNI.  J.J.Sm.
  • Blumea, Suppl. 1, SMITH vol., 1937, with dedications, photographs, etc.; Bull. Jard. Bot. Built. sér. 3, vol. 14, 1937, p. 99-114, incl. bibliogr. & portr
  • Wie is dat? ed. 3-4; Orchideeën, June 1942, 6 pp (in Dutch)
  • Bull. Bot. Gard. Buitenzorg III, 17, 1948, p. 381-382
  • Orchideeën, March 1949, p. 23-31 + portr.