Theodor Kotschy

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Theodor Kotschy (1813–1866)

Karl Georg Theodor Kotschy (15 April 1813 – 11 June 1866) was an Austrian botanist and explorer who was a native of Ustroń, in Austrian Silesia. He was the son of theologian Carl Friedrich Kotschy (1789–1856).


From 1836 to 1862 he performed extensive botanical research throughout the Middle East and northern Africa, in which he collected over 300,000 botanical specimens. Beginning in 1836, he accompanied geologist Joseph Russegger (1802–1863) on a scientific trip to Cilicia and Syria, afterwards journeying through Nubia and Sennar. Following the dissolution with Russegger's expedition, he remained in Egypt.[1] He later traveled to Kurdufan (1839), Cyprus, Syria, Mesopotamia and Kurdistan (1840–41);[2] and during 1842–43 he undertook an expedition to Persia. Later he performed botanical investigations in Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon (1855); and also in Cyprus, Asia Minor and Kurdistan (1859). In 1862 he performed additional botanical research in Cyprus and Syria.

The plant genus Kotschya from the family Fabaceae is named in his honor. His name is associated with a species of lizard, "Kotschy’s gecko" (Cyrtopodion kotschyi ),[3] and with the Cyprus bee orchid (Ophrys kotschyi).[4] His name is also used for a crocus species - Crocus kotschyanus, discovered by him in SE Turkey.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Reise in den cilicischen Taurus überTarsus. (1858); First description of the region of Bulghar Dagh, western Taurus.
  • Abbildungen und Beschreibungen neuer und seltener Thiere und Pflanzen, in Syrien und im westlichen Taurus gesammelt, (Illustrations and descriptions of new and rare animals and plants, in Syria and western Taurus); (1843)
  • Analecta botanica (with Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794–1865) and Carl Fredrik Nyman 1820–1893), (1854)
  • Coniferen des Cilicischen Taurus (Conifers of Cilician Taurus), (with Franz Antoine 1815–1886), (1855)
  • Die Eichen Europas und des Orients, (Oaks of Europe and the Orient); (1858–1862)
  • Plantae Tinneanae (with Johann Joseph Peyritsch 1835–1889); (1867)


  1. ^ ADB: Kotschy, Theodor @ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  2. ^ In: Austrian Biographical Encyclopaedia 1815-1950 (ABL). Volume 4 Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1969, p.160
  3. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Kotschy", p. 145).
  4. ^ Cyprus Bee Orchid. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  5. ^ IPNI.  Kotschy.