Johann Maria Hildebrandt

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Johann Maria Hildebrandt (born March 19, 1847 in Düsseldorf , Rhine Province ; † May 29, 1881 in Antananarivo , Kingdom of Madagascar ) was a German botanist and explorer . Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Hildebrandt ".

Live and act

Hildebrandt was the son of the painter Theodor Hildebrandt . He devoted himself to mechanical engineering. Having lost his right eye as a result of an explosion, he turned to the nursery. He worked in the Halle Botanical Garden as well as in the Berlin Botanical Garden .

In 1872 he went to Africa, traveled to Egypt and after Werner Munzinger expedition Abyssinia , and also the Danakilländer and on two expeditions Somalländer .

Returned from a recreational voyage to the East Indies, he explored Zanzibar and the opposite coast, and he also undertook a third expedition to Somalland.

In 1874 he returned to Europe, but the following year he went back to Africa to explore the Comoros island of Johanna ( Anjouan ).

An attempt to reach Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya failed in 1875; but in 1877 he came close to Kenya with the exception of three days' march.

Hildebrandt returned home in November 1877 and lived in Berlin until 1879 with a rich harvest, but weakened by fever.

Then he went to Madagascar . On a first expedition he gathered reliable news about the end of Christian Rutenberg . In 1878 he discovered an unknown palm species in Madagascar, the Bismarck palm ( Bismarckia nobilis ), which he named after the founder of the empire, Otto von Bismarck . In 1880, recovered from another illness, he began a journey into the interior of the island.

From there he visited the forest mountains to the east, then embarked on an expedition to the Ankaratra mountains and, driven from there by heavy rain, turned to Südbetsileo. He had hardly returned to Antananarivo when he died there on May 29, 1881. He published his reports in the journal of the Society for Geography .


Several animal and plant species are named after Johann Maria Hildebrandt, including the Hildebrandt gloss star , the Hildebrandtfrankolin , the Aloe hildebrandtii and the jewel beetle Sternocera hildebrandti .


  1. Meyers Konversations-Lexikon , 6th ed. 1906, Vol. 3, p. 2.


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