I saw a good deal of the country much more than any other collector An assessment of the botanical collections of Eugene Fitzalan (1830–1911)

  • I saw a good deal of the country much more than any other collector1. Eugene [Fitzherbert Albini] Fitzalan (1830–1911) came to Australia from Ireland about 1849. His first significant appointment as a botanical collector was on the Queensland Government’s expedition to investigate the estuary of the Burdekin River in 1860, commanded by Joseph W. Smith RN on the Schooner Spitfire. Fitzalan was engaged as a plant collector by Ferdinand Mueller, the Government Botanist for the Colony of Victoria. Following the Burdekin Expedition of 1860, Fitzalan became a pioneer settler in 1861, at the newly proclaimed township of Bowen (Port Denison) from where he undertook collecting excursions to Mount Dryander, Mount Elliot, Townsville, Cairns, Daintree River and Cooktown, whilst establishing and managing a seed and plant nursery business. He was a contemporary and/or collecting companion of F.M.Bailey, Charles Weldon Birch, Edward Bowman, John Dallachy, Amalie Dietrich, Stephen Johnson, Walter Hill, Frederick Kilner, L.G. Nugent and Walter Froggatt. Fitzalan moved to Cairns in 1886, and became active in the initial development of the Cairns Municipal Botanical Reserve, the site of the future heritage-listed Cairns Botanic Gardens. Fitzalan’s collections number to about 2200 herbarium specimens. This number places him in the top five most productive collectors in Queensland for the 1860–1900 period. His specimens were initially dispatched to Ferdinand Mueller in Melbourne, and most are now conserved in the National Herbarium of Victoria [MEL]. A small number of specimens and duplicates are conserved in other Australian and international herbaria, including BM, BR, BRI, FI, G, HAL, K, NSW, U and W. About 90 of Fitzalan’s collections are relevant to typification, and he is eponymously connected to at least 12 taxa, of which five are the currently used names. As well as examining Fitzalan’s primary plant collecting activities, this work provides a broad biographical background and assesses his horticultural contributions.

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Author:John Leslie Dowe
DOI:https://doi.org/doi 10.7751/cunninghamia.2015.15.005
ISSN:0727- 9620
ISSN:2200 - 405X
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2015/03/23
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/23
Tag:Eugene Fitzalan; Mueller’s collectors; Queensland early botany; historical plant records for Queensland
Page Number:47
First Page:87
Last Page:133
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 15 (2015)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht