Julian A. Steyermark
Friday, January 27, 2023
Venezualian-American botanist, Julian Steyermark was born today on Jan. 27, 1909. His long career included the Field Museum of Chicago, the Jardín Botánico de Caracas of the Universidad Central of Venezuela and, finally, the Botanical Gardens, St. Louis. Missouri, from 1984 to his death in 1988.
Steyermark's many publications took in the Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, the Flora of Guatemala and the Flora of Missouri.
Steyermark was a prolific botanical collector and the over 130,000 specimens he gathered in twenty-six countries even earned him a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. In all, Steyermark made initial descriptions of 2,392 taxa, including one family, 38 genera, and 1,864 species.
The genus Steyermarkia Standl., among numerous other plant names, was named for him.
Fuchsia steyermarkii P.E.Berry (Fuchsia Sect. Fuchsia), a novel species he first collected in the cloud forests of Ecuador's Zamora-Chinchipe Province in 1943, was published in his honor in 1982.
In 1979 the Missouri Department of Conservation acquired a 73-acre wooded tract within the city limits of Hannibal, Missouri. The rich woodlands would be named after Steyermark in recognition of his work on the flora of the state.