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    Naturevolume 32pages540542 (1885) | Download Citation



    BOTANISTS will learn with very great regret of the death of Mr. Edmond Boissier, the learned and indefatigable author of the “Flora Orientalis,” and many other important works on Systematic Botany. We have received no particulars, but we imagine his death must have been somewhat sudden, for the event was quite unexpected by his friends in this country. As recently as the month of August Prof. Oliver heard from him, the communication relating to the Supplements to the “Flora Orientalis,” on which the deceased botanist has been for some time engaged, and in which he wished to incorporate the botanical results of Dr. Aitchison's latest investigations in Afghanistan. Boissier's career as a botanist may be said to have commenced with his travels in Spain in 1837, when he collected the materials published in his “Voyage Botanique dans l'Espagne,” a richly illustrated work which appeared at intervals from 1839 to 1845. He subsequently travelled and botanically explored various parts of South-eastern Europe and Asia Minor. Independently of his larger works he published, separately, diagnoses of the exceedingly large number of undescribed species he found from within the limits of his “Flora Orientalis,” the first volume of which appeared in 1867, and the last in 1881. This work alone is sufficient to place the author in the first rank of a school of distinguished systematists, now alas fast disappearing without leaving a corresponding rising generation to take up the work where they have left it. Like the late Mr. Bentham, M. Boissier was in a position to give his undivided attention to the science he had chosen, and like him he laboured unceasingly; and it is to be hoped that the supplement to the “Flora Orientalis” is in a sufficiently forward state for publication. Among other things the vast genus Euphorbia furnished materials for several valuable works, including a monograph of all the species, and a folio volume containing figures of 120 species. Mr. Edmond Boissier was a Foreign Member of the Linnean Society, having been elected in 1860: and from his constant readiness to give others the benefit of his extensive knowledge, he enjoyed the esteem and admiration of a wide circle of botanists.

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