Heinrich Friedrich Link

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Heinrich Friedrich Link

Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link , not Linck (* February 2, 1767 in Hildesheim , † January 1, 1851 in Berlin ) was a German scientist who was one of the last to have a comprehensive command of the entire knowledge of "natural science". Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Link ".

Live and act

Heinrich Friedrich Link, son of a preacher , studied medicine and natural sciences at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen from 1786 and was awarded a Dr. phil. PhD . In Göttingen he also got to know Alexander von Humboldt and botanized with him. In 1792 he received the ducal Mecklenburg professorship for natural history , botany and chemistry at the University of Rostock . In 1792 he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1797 he visited Portugal with Johann Centurius von Hoffmannsegg . The result of this study trip was a work on the flora of Portugal, which appeared from 1809 to 1820. On August 15, 1801, Link, nicknamed Cleophanes, was elected a member ( matriculation no. 1018 ) of the Leopoldina . In December 1828 he became a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

In 1811 he went to the Silesian Friedrich Wilhelms University of Breslau, which was founded after the Peace of Tilsit , as full professor for chemistry and botany . For the year 1814/15 he was elected rector . He also gave lectures to Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm on scientific topics.

After the death of Carl Ludwig Willdenow , in 1815 he took over the chair for natural history and the management of the Botanical Garden in Berlin at the also new Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin . In 1816/17 he was rector again. In 1822 he was a co-founder of the German Horticultural Society and was accepted into the Prussian order Pour le Mérite for science and the arts on August 17, 1845 . In 1812 he became a corresponding and in 1815 a full member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences . Since 1829 he was a foreign member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences .

Link was one of the few German botanists of his time who strived for a comprehensive knowledge of plants and also combined taxonomic and physiological research with solid systematic research .

In 1783 Link was accepted into the Masonic lodge "Gate of Eternity" in Hildesheim. Subsequently he was an active member of lodges in Rostock, Breslau and Berlin. He made special contributions to Freemasonry as Grand Master of the Great Lodge "Royal York, called for friendship" between 1831 and 1850.

Heinrich Friedrich Link died, just a few weeks before his 84th birthday, on New Year's Day 1851 in Berlin. He was buried in Cemetery III of the Jerusalem and New Churches in front of the Hallesches Tor . The grave has not been preserved.


The plant genera Linkia Cav are named after Link . from the silver tree family (Proteaceae) and Linkagrostis Romero García, Blanca & C. Morales from the sweet grass family (Poaceae).


  • Basic teachings of the anatomy and physiology of plants. Göttingen 1807.
  • Supplements to the basic teaching etc. Göttingen 1809.
  • The primeval world and antiquity, explained by natural history. Berlin. 1820-1822. (2nd edition, 1834)
  • Handbook for recognizing the most useful and most common crops. 3 parts. Haude and Spener, Berlin 1829 ( digitized version ) of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Antiquity and the transition to modern times. Berlin 1842.
  • Elementa philosophiae botanicae. Berlin 1824. 2nd edition. 1837 (Latin and German).
  • Anatomical-botanical illustrations to explain the basic principles of herbalism. 4 volumes. Berlin 1837–1842.
  • Selected anatomical-botanical illustrations. 4 volumes. Berlin 1839–1842.
  • Filicum species in horto regio Berolinensi cultae. Berlin 1841.
  • Plant anatomy in illustrations. 3 volumes. Berlin 1843-1847.


  • with Christoph Friedrich Otto : Icones plantarum selectarum horti regii botanici Berolinensis . 10 vols., Berlin 1820-1828.
  • with Christoph Friedrich Otto: Icones plantarum rariorum horti regii botanici Berolinensis. Berlin 1828–1831. Continued with Johann Friedrich Klotzsch , 1841–1844.
  • with Count von Hoffmannsegg: Flore portugaise. Berlin 1809-1840.


Web links

Commons : Heinrich Friedrich Link  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Heinrich Friedrich Link  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang-Hagen Hein (Ed.): Alexander von Humboldt. Life and work . Boehringer, Ingelheim 1985, ISBN 3-921037-55-7 , pp. 168 .
  2. ^ Entry on Heinrich Friedrich Link in the Catalogus Professorum Rostochiensium
  3. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 152.
  4. Member entry of Heinrich Friedrich Link at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on August 10, 2015.
  5. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter L. Académie des sciences, accessed on January 14, 2020 (French).
  6. a b Rector's speeches (HKM)
  7. The Order Pour le Mérite for Science and the Arts. The members of the order , Volume I (1842–1881), Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag 1975, p. 122.
  8. ^ Members of the previous academies. Heinrich Friedrich Link. Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences , accessed April 29, 2015 .
  9. E. Lennhoff, O. Posner, DA Binder: Internationales Freemaurer Lexikon . Munich: Herbig 2000, ISBN 3-7766-2161-3 , p. 517
  10. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 244.
  11. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names . Extended Edition. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, Free University Berlin Berlin 2018. [1]
  12. Icones plantarum selectarum horti regii botanici Berolinensis ( PDF file , 6.68 MB) with Google Book Search
  13. Icones plantarum rariorum horti regii botanici Berolinensis ( PDF file , 12 MB) with Google Book Search.