Per Axel Rydberg

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Per Axel Rydberg
Born(1860-07-06)July 6, 1860
Odh, Västergötland, Sweden
DiedJuly 25, 1931(1931-07-25) (aged 71)
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery
Bronx, New York
Alma materUniversity of Nebraska–Lincoln
Columbia University
Scientific career
InstitutionsNew York Botanical Garden
Author abbrev. (botany)Rydb.

Per Axel Rydberg (July 6, 1860 – July 25, 1931) was a Swedish-born, American botanist who was the first curator of the New York Botanical Garden Herbarium.[1][2]


Per Axel Rydberg was born in Odh, Västergötland, Sweden and emigrated to the United States in 1882. From 1884 to 1890, he taught mathematics at Luther Academy in Wahoo, Nebraska, while he studied at the University of Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (B.S. in 1891) and (M.A. in 1895). He earned his graduate degree from Columbia University (Ph.D. in 1898). [3]

After he graduated, Rydberg received a commission from the United States Department of Agriculture to undertake a botanical exploration of western Nebraska. He received another one in 1892 to explore the Black Hills of South Dakota, and in 1893 he was in the Sand Hills, again in western Nebraska. During this time he continued to teach at the Luther Academy.

In 1900 Rydberg conducted field work in southeast Colorado. In 1901 he visited Kew Gardens in England and made a return trip to Sweden as well. In 1905 he was collecting in Utah with visits to the University of Wyoming, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 1911 he undertook an exploration of southeast Utah and in 1925, the Allegheny Mountains. A trip in 1926 took him to Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas. His final field expedition was in 1929 to Kansas and Minnesota but it was cut short due to illness and only included work in Kansas.

He was a prolific research publisher, he described around 1700 new species in the course of his career. His expertise was principally in the flora of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. From 1899, Rydberg was on the staff of the New York Botanical Garden, and he later became the first curator of the Garden's Herbarium.[4]

Dr. Rydberg was elected to membership in the Torrey Botanical Club in 1896. In 1900 he joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was elected a fellow the following year. Also that year, he was chosen as an Associate of the Botanical Society of America. In 1907 he became a member of the American Geographical Society and the Ecological Society of America.

Personal life[edit]

Rydberg married his wife Alfrida Amanda (1878-1933). Rydberg died during 1931 in New York City. He was buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery.

Selected works[edit]

Other works[edit]


  1. ^ Biographical Note, P. A. (Per Axel) Rydberg New York Botanical Garden
  2. ^ "Per Axel Rydberg Records (1898-1929)". Mertz Library. The New York Botanical Garden. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Rydberg, Per Axel". Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  4. ^ Rydberg, P.A. 1895. Flora of the sand hills of Nebraska. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 3:133-203.
  5. ^ Nelson, Aven (1900). "Review of Catalogue of the Flora of Montana and Yellowstone National Park by Per Axel Rydberg". Botanical Gazette. 30: 61–64. doi:10.1086/328013. S2CID 83556923.
  6. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Rydb.

Other sources[edit]

  • Tiehm, Arnold; Frans Antonie Stafleu (1990) Per Axel Rydberg : a biography, bibliography, and list of his taxa (Bronx, N.Y.: New York Botanical Garden) ISBN 9780893273514

Related reading[edit]

Benson, Adolph B.; Naboth Hedin (1969) Swedes In America (New York: Haskel House Publishers)

External links[edit]