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Clarke Abel

Clarke Abel (c. 1780 – c. 24 November 1826) was a British surgeon and naturalist.

Abel accompanied Lord Amherst on his trip to China in 1816 as the expedition naturalist. As a result of this trip, he wrote and published a Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of China (1818).

He was the first Western scientist to report the presence of orangutan on the island of Sumatra.

He went on to become the surgeon-in-chief to the governor-general of India. Died at Cawnpore, India, 24th November 1826, Aged 37.

In 1816 while in China, Clarke Abel, a surgeon and naturalist, collected specimens and seeds of the plant that carries his name--now known as Abelia chinensis. Despite a shipwreck and an attack by pirates on the way back to his home in Britain, causing him to lose all of his specimens, Abel still managed to successfully establish the Chinese Abelia. Fortunately, he had left some specimens with an acquaintance in China who was kind enough to return them to him, enabling us to have the Chinese Abelia that we know today.


  1. ^ "Author Query". International Plant Names Index.  
  • Diana Wells, " 100 Flowers and How They Got their Names", Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1997


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

(ca 1780 - 24.XI.1826)

British naturalist.
Abbreviation : C.Abel


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