Friedrich Richard Rudolf Schlechter
|Died||16 November 1925 (aged 53)|
His vast herbarium was destroyed during the bombing of Berlin in 1945.
Rudolf Schlechter was born on 16 October 1872 in Berlin, the third of six children. His father Hugo Schlechter was a lithographer. After finishing school at the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium he started a horticulture education, first at the gardening market of Mrs. Bluth and then at the University of Berlin garden. There he worked as an assistant till the autumn of 1891.
Rudolf Schlechter began his career of botanical fieldwork by leaving Europe in 1891 to journey to Africa and subsequently across Indonesia and Australia. Throughout his career he has focused on expanding his research collection of orchids. He was a leader of expeditions in German Africa, investigating the Caoutchouc industry, but continually collecting plant specimens. He also lived extensively in German New Guinea in the first decade of the new century. Before World War I he settled in Berlin, marrying his wife Alexandra Schlechter and becoming curator of Berlin's botanical garden in Dahlem. He is estimated to have proposed one thousand new species in the family Orchidaceae alone.
- Die Orchideen von Deutsch-Neu-Guinea, 1914
- Die Orchideen, ihre Beschreibung, Kultur und Züchtung, 1915
- Orchideologiae sino-japonicae prodromus, 1919
- Orchidaceae Powellianae Panamenses, 1922
- Die Orchideenflora der südamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten (written with Rudolf Mansfeld), 1919–1929
- Monographie und Iconographie der Orchideen Europas und des Mittelmeergebietes (written with G. Keller), 1925–1943
- Blütenanalysen neuer Orchideen (published by R. Mansfeld), 1930–1934