André Michaux

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Title page from Flora Boreali-Americana .

André Michaux (born March 7, 1746 in Versailles , † November 16, 1802 in Madagascar ) was a French botanist and explorer. Its official botanical author abbreviation is " Michx. ".


After the death of his wife he took up botanical studies with Bernard de Jussieu . In 1779 he spent some time botanizing in England , in 1780 he explored the Auvergne , the Pyrenees and northern Spain . The French government sent him on a botanical mission to Persia in 1782 . The journey started badly, because he was stripped of all his equipment by Arabs; only his books remained with him. However, he gained influential support in Persia as he cured the Shah from a dangerous disease. After three years he returned to France with a beautiful herbarium . For the botanical gardens of France he brought numerous plants from the east.

Louis XVI appointed him royal botanist and sent him to the USA in 1785 . He should study plants that could be of value to France. With his son François André (1770–1855) he toured Canada , Nova Scotia and the United States. 1786 he built in Charleston ( South Carolina ) a base in the form of a garden that existed ten years. From here he went on many expeditions to various parts of North America. During this time he described and named many North American plants. He also collected many plants and seeds that he sent to France. At the same time, he introduced many species to America from different parts of the world, including Yellowwood Tree, Sasanqua Camellia, Sweet Olive Osmanthus, Crape Myrtle, and Ginkgo . He was supported in his work by his son François André Michaux .

He was shipwrecked on the journey back to France in 1796. With luck he only lost a small part of his collections. In 1800 he sailed with Nicolas Baudin's expedition to Australia , but left the ship because of a dispute with the captain in Mauritius . He traveled on to Madagascar to study the flora of this island and died there in 1802 of tropical fever.

He did most of his work as a botanist in the great outdoors. He has contributed a lot to the botanical knowledge of the East and America.

In 1796 he became a member of the Académie des Sciences in Paris. The genus Michauxia L'Hérit. from the family of bellflower plants (Campanulaceae) has been named after him, as well as plant species such as Lilium michauxii . A forest in Pennsylvania , an island and the Réserve écologique André-Michaux in Québec were named in his honor.


His son François-André published

An English translation appeared in 1817-1819 under the title The North American Sylva .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter M. Académie des sciences, accessed on January 23, 2020 (French).
  2. Robert Zander : Zander hand dictionary of plant names . Ed .: Fritz Encke , Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold . 13th, revised and expanded edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 .
  3. Michaux State Forest
  4. ^ Réserve écologique André-Michaux , Île André-Michaux , Commission de toponymie du Québec
  5. The North American Sylva in Google Book Search. D. Rice and AN Hart, Philadelphia 1857
  6. Approx. 25 tracks.