Thursday, November 26, 2009

The first mention of Anubias in scientific literature

Attention! This posting - exept of Schott's notice - is a fiction and should be accepted ONLY as author's subjective vision of reality.

In 1857 Henry Shott, the court gardener and botanist of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, received a parcel from Sweden. The sender was Elias Magnus Fries, the director of the museum and university’s botanic garden in Uppsala. In a wooden box among other various plants and their descriptions was a little wilted plant, which had been traveled several thousands kilometers to Vienna. There was a list of the plants in the covering note, but in front of this specimen was a dash. Fries commented that this plant was a part of Adam Afzelius’ collection and Uppsala University bought this collection from Afzelius’ relatives after his death. The aged Fries wasn’t interested in African “inheritance” of Afzelius, mushrooms were always his scientific ardour. As he knew that the Austrian liked the flora of the Dark Continent, he sent several plants to him. In his turn H. Shott didn’t think a lot and gave the novice of the Aracea family an imposing name – “Anubias”, in honor of the ancient Egyptian God of the dead, Anubis. On 27 November 1757 Shott sent a short note “Essays about the Arum family”- (in German “Aroideen-Skizzen”) about the new genus to the “Wiener Botanisches Wochenblatt”. So the first mention about the most popular Aquarian plant had appeared in scientific literature. Here is the whole article.

Essays about the Arum family

Henry Shott

Only one plant should deserve our special attention among the plant which Afzelius had collected in Sierra Leone. It’s very difficult to ascertain, whether this plant grows on the ground or trees, because the specimen is deficient. But only leaf and its rib, wrapped veil of the cop show us that it is a new genus and the further study of the flower proves that. We think that we haven’t any right to conceal from the scientific community this interesting specimen from the less known corner of the Earth and that’s why we sent a description of this plant’s peculiarities with the most visible specific traits, for that we thank the honorable Elias Fries.

A n u b i a s. Spatha cylindrice-voluta, lamina hiante. Spadix spatham excedens, ubique organis tectus, inferne ovaries, medio synondrodiis, reliqua parte synandriis apicem (inflorescentiae) versus imperfectis obsitus. Ovaria bilocularia, loculamentis multiovulatis, ovulis e medio axeos exertis, longule-funiculatis, hemianatropis, micropyle tholispectante. Stylus brevissimus. Stigmaconvexo-diseoideum, Synandria truncata, loculis quam connective brevioribus. Synandrodia synandriis similia.

Anubias Afzelii. Peliolus 5--6 pollicaris, lenuis, ultra medium vaginatus, apice in geniculum longulum transiens. Lamina fol. elongato-lanceolata, peliolo multo-longior, inferne cuneala, el ima basi abrupte cure geniculo juncta, apice longe-acuminala, venis arcualo-patentibus, creberrimis, approximatis, hinc inde confluenlibus, pseudoneuris in ipso margine 2-bus, venulis tran

sversis, copiosissimis, approximatissimis, tenuissimis in strucla. Pedunculus 9-10 pollices lonqus

, tenuis. Spatha bipollicaris, apice repentiaocontracta, apiculata. Spadix tenuis, spatham 6ta parte superans breviter-stipitalus. Habit. in Sierra-Leone (Afzelius).

Schönbrunn, 27 November 1857

The author of this note: Alexander Grigorov.

The author used infos from the next Web page.

Translated from Russian by Julia Niklyaeva and Alexander Grigorov

Photos: Dmitry Loginov

© Alexander Grigorov

© Dmitry Loginov

No comments:

Post a Comment