Willem Hendrik de Vriese

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Willem Hendrik de Vriese (painted by Jan Hendrik Neuman)

Willem Hendrik de Vriese (August 11, 1806 – January 23, 1862) was a Dutch botanist and physician born in Oosterhout, North Brabant.

He studied medicine at the University of Leiden, earning his doctorate in 1831. Afterwards he practiced medicine in Rotterdam, where he also gave classes in botany at the medical school. In 1834, he was appointed associate professor of botany at the Athenaeum Illustré in Amsterdam, and in 1841 was promoted to full professor. In 1845, he became a professor of botany at Leiden and successor to Caspar Georg Carl Reinwardt (1773–1854) at the Hortus Botanicus Leiden. He became a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in 1838.[1]

In October 1857, he was commissioned to conduct botanical investigations in the Dutch East Indies, and consequently spent the following years performing research in Java, Borneo, Sumatra and the Moluccas. In March 1861, he returned to the Netherlands in a weakened state, and died in Leiden several months later.

Among his written works was the first part of "Hortus Spaarne-Bergensis" (1839), a catalogue of banker Adriaan van der Hoop's exotic plant collection. He was an editor of Caspar Reinwardt's scientific works,[2] two years after Reinwardt's death, he published "Plantae Indiae Batavae Orientalis: quas, in itinere per insulas Archipelagi Indici Javam, Amboinam, Celebem, Ternatam, aliasque, annis 1815-1821 exploravit Casp. Georg. Carol. Reinwardt" (1856).[3] He was the author of a memoir on Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen [4] as well as of noteworthy treatises on cinchona (1855), vanilla (1856) and camphor (1856). Also, he published monographs on the genus Rafflesia and of the botanical family Marattiaceae (with biologist Pieter Harting 1812-1885).[5]

The botanical genus Vriesea (family Bromeliaceae) [6] was named in his honor by British botanist John Lindley (1799–1865).


  • "This article incorporates text based on a translation of an equivalent article at the Dutch Wikipedia".
  1. ^ "Willem Hendrik de Vriese (1806 - 1862)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ Vriese, Willem Hendrik de @ Nationaal Herbarium Nederland
  3. ^ Google Books Plantae Indiae Batavae Orientalis
  4. ^ OCLC WorldCat Herinneringen aan Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen
  5. ^ Natural History Museum References
  6. ^ Jacksbromeliads Cryptanthus; Guzmania; Portea; Quesnelia; Vriesea
  7. ^ IPNI.  de Vriese.