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Herbarium Collectors & Illustrators

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Home > CANBR | CHAH > Collectors & Illustrators

Australian Plant Collectors and Illustrators

1700s - 2000

Willis et al 1986 cover
George ABC book

This web site is based on the list published by J.H. Willis, D. Pearson, M.T. Davis, and J.W. Green, Western Australian Herbarium Research Notes Number 12, August 1986. That original list has been supplemented by additional entries and some updates of dates, especially where people have died since that publication. It has been further supplemented with information from Alex George's 2009 publication Australian Botanist's Companion, published by Four Gables Press, WA.
Many female entries with the words "Collected for Mueller in . . ." have come from the paper: 'Ferdinand Mueller's female plant collectors: a biographical register' by Sara Maroske and Alison Vaughan (2014), Muelleria, Vol.32.

During the 1980s botanists around Australia and overseas were subjected to surveys from two different areas, (1) from Willis et al for the published list that formed the basis of this website, and (2) from the editors of the Flora of Australia project who foreshadowed a published volume of biographical information (probably similar to the volumes associated with the Flora Malesiana project), which also asked for a portrait photo of each contributor. This publication never eventuated, but supplied photos and information have been used on this website.

With the development of Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) in the 2000s, it became possible to generate 'whole of life' maps for individual collectors of all their collections, and adding this to biographic notes giving an indication of where they collected. These have been added for many collectors.

It attempts to list all significant collectors or illustrators likely to be encountered in Australian herbaria and the relevant scientific literature.

Some biographies include abbreviated codes for the herbaria where the collector's plant specimens were lodged (e.g. FI, MEL, NSW, PERTH). These abbreviations follow Index Herbariorum, which can be consulted for more detail.

Surnames (Family names) starting with:


The introduction to the original list published by Willis et al. is reproduced here: Introduction (1986)

Origin of this website

In 1999 I prepared a proposal for Judy West (CANB) to take to the annual CHAH meeting for this website to become a CHAH project, for it to be branded as such, and for each herbarium in Australia, and ABRS, to contribute any past or present biographic information they had on their collectors. It was to be hosted by CPBR on the ANBG web server. I volunteered to initiate and manage it as time permitted. This proposal was accepted by those attending the CHAH meeting.

I would like to thank Neville Marchant, Director of the WA Herbarium which published the original list, for his support and permission to base this web site on the data within WA Herbarium Research Notes No.12. I also thank Tony Orchard, Director of ABRS Botany Section, for allowing me to use many of his biographical notes from Flora of Australia Vol.1 2nd ed as the basis for many of the links, and for the photos and data from the ABRS 1980s survey. I would like to thank Jan Wilson (ANBG Photo Collection) for assistance in initial web conversion from the above publication and also Margaret Boots, an ANBG volunteer, for her huge effort in scanning and OCR-processing much of the early historical literature.

— Murray Fagg

There is a searchable alphabetical list of collectors and illustrators for which we have more detailed biographical notes.

Please send updates, corrections and additions to: Webmaster ( )

Other useful resources:

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

NSW Herbarium collectors database archive
    (suggest enter surname only)

Australasian Herbarium News, 1947-1954

Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter Archive, 1974-current


Australian National Herbarium - updated 2 April, 2024-> by webmaster (