William Henry Nicholls

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William Henry Nicholls
Born23 July 1885
Ballarat, Australia
Died10 March 1951 (1951-03-11) (aged 65)
Footscray, Australia
Scientific career
Author abbrev. (botany)Nicholls

William Henry Nicholls (23 July 1885 – 10 March 1951) was an Australian amateur botanist, authority on, and collector of Australian orchids. An accomplished photographer and watercolourist, he contributed almost 100 articles on orchids to The Victorian Naturalist, many of which described new species with line drawings. He was working on producing a 24-volume illustrated monograph of all the orchids of Australia when he died. Only four volumes were published shortly after his death but the entire work was published in a single book, Orchids of Australia in 1969. Some of the many orchids described and named by Nicholls and retaining the name he gave them include Caladenia caudata, Caladenia echidnachila, Caladenia ensata, Caladenia ferruginea, Caladenia magniclavata, Caladenia ornata, Caladenia praecox, Caladenia radiata, Pterostylis fischii, Pterostylis hamiltonii, Pterostylis hildae and Pterostylis tenuissima.[1][2][3] The orchid Prasophyllum nichollsianum (now generally recognised in Australia as Genoplesium nudiscapum) was named in his honour by Herman Rupp.[4]


  1. ^ Willis, James H. "Nicholls, William Henry (Will) (1885–1951)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ Orchard, Anthony E. "Nicholls, William Henry (1885 - 1951)". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ Stafleu, Frans A.; Cowan, Richard S. (1976). Taxonomic literature : a selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types (2nd ed.). Utrecht: Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema. pp. 739–740. ISBN 9031302244. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  4. ^ Rupp, Herman M. R. (1942). "The section Genoplesium in the genus Prasophyllum (Orchidaceae)". The Victorian Naturalist. 59: 123. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  5. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Nicholls.