Nikolai Turczaninow

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Nikolai Turczaninow
Nikolai Turczaninow
Born1796 (1796)
Died1863 (aged 66–67)
Scientific career

Nikolai Stepanovich Turczaninow (Russian: Николай Степанович Турчанинов, 1796 in Nikitovka, now in Krasnogvardeysky District, Belgorod Oblast, Russia – 1863 in Kharkov) was a Russian botanist and plant collector who first identified several genera, and many species, of plants.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Born in 1796, Turczaninow attended high school in Kharkov. In 1814, he graduated from Kharkov University, before working as a civil servant for the Ministry of Finance in St. Petersburg.[2] Soon after, in 1825, Turczaninow published his first botanical list. Despite being employed in a different field, he continued his largely self-taught botanical work.

In 1828, he was assigned an administrative post in Irkutsk, Siberia. This allowed him to collect in the Lake Baikal area, which is known for its rich biodiversity. A spate of papers followed, and Turczaninow established his own herbarium containing plants from the region.[3][2] In 1830, he was appointed a Fellow of the Imperial Botanic Garden St. Petersburg (now the Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden), and charged with collecting plants from Siberia.[2] In the early 1830s, Turczaninow published numerous papers on the botany of Siberia and Mongolia, most of which appeared in the Bulletin de la Société impériale des naturalistes de Moscou.[4]

During his career, Turczaninow corresponded and exchanged specimens with eminent botanists of the era, including Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, George Bentham, Joseph Dalton Hooker, and Joachim Steetz, among others.[5]

In 1837, he was sent to Krasnojarsk where he continued to publish botanical names. He also became governor of the region.[5]

Turczaninow later opened a herbarium in Taganrog on the Sea of Azov. After a debilitating fall, he allowed others to collect for him and he spent his time in classification, study and writing. In particular, Turczaninow began work on collections sent to him from the Swan River Colony in Western Australia by botanist James Drummond. Despite never visiting the country, he published over 400 species of Australian flora.[2]

Turczaninow eventually moved back to Kharkov in 1847, taking most of his herbarium with him. Many of these specimens, including known type specimens, were transferred to the National Herbarium of Ukraine (KW).[5] Many herbaria around the world also hold collections made by Turczaninow, including the Komarov Botanical Institute, the National Herbarium of Victoria at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne,[6] Harvard University Herbaria and the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[1]

Standard author abbreviation[edit]

Turczaninow named almost 2500 plant species. See: Category:Taxa named by Nikolai Turczaninow and International Plant Name Index[8]


List of selected publications[edit]

  • "Enumeratio plantarum phaenogamarum et filicum Florae Baikalensis, cura Turtschaninof". Flora oder Botanische Zeitung: Welche Recensionen, Abhandlungen, Aufsätze, Neuigkeiten und Nachrichten, die Botanik betreffend, enthält. 17 (1): 4–28. 1834.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Harvard University Herbaria and Libraries: Index of Botanists, Turczaninow, Nicolai Stepanowitsch". Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Marchant, N.G. (1990). "The contribution of the Russian botanist Turczaninov to Australian plant taxonomy". In Short, P. S. (ed.). History of systematic botany in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany Society. p. 121. ISBN 0-7316-8463-X.
  3. ^ Turczaninow 1834.
  4. ^ "IPNI: Bulletin de la Société Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou". Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Marchant, N.G. (1990). "The contribution of the Russian botanist Turczaninov to Australian plant taxonomy". In Short, P. S. (ed.). History of systematic botany in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany Society. p. 122. ISBN 0-7316-8463-X.
  6. ^ "Australasian Virtual Herbarium". Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  7. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Turcz.
  8. ^ "International Plant Name Index". Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Turczaninowia". Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Turczaninovia DC. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 14 March 2021.