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Carl Ludwig Willdenow

Carl Ludwig Willdenow (22 August 1765 - 10 July 1812) was a German botanist, pharmacist, and plant taxonomist. He is considered one of the founders of phytogeography, the study of the geographic distribution of plants. Willdenow was also a mentor of Alexander von Humboldt one of the earliest and best known phytogeographers.

Willdenow was born in Berlin and studied medicine and botany at the University of Halle. He was a director of the Botanical garden of Berlin from 1801 until his death. There he studied many South American plants, brought back by the explorer Alexander von Humboldt. He was interested in the adaptation of plants to climate, showing that the same climate had plants having common characteristics. His herbarium, containing more than 20,000 species, is still preserved in Berlin.

He is most famous for his synthesis of European plant geography, and his mountains origins theories.

In 1801, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The standard botanical author abbreviation Willd. is applied to plants he described.


  • Florae Berolinensis prodromus (1787)
  • Grundri√ü der Kr√§uterkunde (1792)
  • Berlinische Baumzucht (1811)
  • Linnaei species plantarum (1798-1826, 6 volumes) Botanicus
  • Anleitung zum Selbststudium der Botanik (1804)
  • Enumeratio plantarum horti regii botanici Berolinensis (1809)
  • Hortus Berolinensis (1816)


Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Carl Ludwig Willdenow


German botanist and farmacist



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