World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Odoardo Beccari


Odoardo Beccari

Odoardo Beccari.

Odoardo Beccari (16 November 1843 – 25 October 1920) was an Italian naturalist perhaps best known for discovering the titan arum, the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, in Sumatra in 1878. This botanist is denoted by the author abbreviation Becc. when citing a botanical name.[1]


  • Life 1
  • Selected works 2
  • Genera and species named after Odoardo Beccari 3
    • Plants 3.1
    • Animals 3.2
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


An orphan from Florence, Beccari studied at a school in Lucca and the universities in Pisa and Bologna. He was the student of Ugolino Martelli. After graduating, he spent a few months at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he met Charles Darwin, William Hooker and Joseph Hooker, and James Brooke, the first rajah of Sarawak. The latter connection lead to him spending 13 years from 1865 to 1878 undertaking research in Sarawak, Brunei and other islands off present-day Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea. He spent most of his time in Indonesia (then Dutch East Indies) and believed to be able to speak Malay, Javanese, and Sundanese fairly fluently. During his career he discovered many new species of plants, mainly palms (family Arecaceae).

After an expedition to Ethiopia, he made a second trip to New Guinea, this time with ornithologist Luigi Maria d'Albertis in 1872. Here they collected zoological specimens, especially birds-of-paradise and ethnographic materials.

Beccari founded the Nuovo Giornale Botanico Italiano (New Italian Botanic Journal) in 1869, and also published his results in Bolletino della Società geografica Italiana.[2] He found the Corpse Plant in 1878, located in Sumatra. In the same year, on his return to Florence, he became Director of the Botanic Garden of Florence as successor to Filippo Parlatore but resigned in the following year, 1879, after conflicts with the administration. In 1882 he married and had four sons.

Beccari's botanical collection now forms part of the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze. While the greatest part of Beccari’s archive is preserved at the University of Florence, some travel notes can be found in the library of the Museo Galileo.[3]

The botanical journal Beccariana from Herbarium Manokwariense, Universitas Negeri Papua (UNIPA), Manokwari, Papua Barat, Indonesia, is named after him, see external links below

Selected works

  • Malesia, raccolta d'osservazioni lese e papuano (three volumes, 1877–1889).
  • Nelle Foreste di Borneo. Viaggi e ricerche di un naturalista (S. Landi, Florence, 1902).
  • Asiatic Palms (1908).
  • Palme del Madagascar descritte ed illustrate (1912).
  • Nova Guinea, Selebes e Molucche. Diari di viaggio ordinati dal figlio Prof. Dott. Nello Beccari (La Voce, Florence, 1924).

Genera and species named after Odoardo Beccari




  1. ^ Brummitt, R. K.; Powell, C. E. (1992). Authors of Plant Names.  
  2. ^  "Beccari, Odoardo".  
  3. ^ "Inventory of Beccari's documents at the Museo Galileo library" (PDF). 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. iii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Beccari", pp. 20-21).

Further reading

  • Nalesini, O. (2009). L'Asia Sud-orientale nella cultura italiana. Bibliografia analitica ragionata, 1475–2005. Roma: Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente. pp. 17–18 (Biography), 64–65 (travels), 385–390 (Botany). ISBN 978-88-6323-284-4.

External links

  • IMHS
  • Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia
  • [2]
  • Archive of Museo Galileo
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.