Karl Heinz Rechinger

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Karl Heinz Rechinger (born October 16, 1906 in Vienna ; † December 30, 1998 there ) was an Austrian botanist . Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Rech.f. ".


Karl Heinz Rechinger, son of the botanist Karl Rechinger and the botanist Lily Rechinger-Favarger (1880–1973), studied botany after attending the Schottengymnasium at the University of Vienna and was the last student of Richard Wettstein to receive his doctorate there in May 1931 . After Wettstein's death, Rechinger was in contact with his successors at the University of Vienna, Fritz Knoll , Lothar Geitler and Friedrich Ehrendorfer . In 1937, at the age of 31, he took on a temporary position as a research assistant in the botanical department of the Natural History Museum in Viennaand was there due to the retirement of Karl von Keissler (1872-1965) more and more responsible for the management of the department. Five years later he was permanently hired for this position.

During the Second World War he organized the evacuation of the herbarium and the library of the Natural History Museum with around 16 million herbarium specimens and 600,000 books. A large part of the herbarium evidence was housed in Lunz am See , where Rechinger also experienced the end of the Second World War.

In 1953 he submitted his work Phytogeographia Aegaea as a habilitation thesis and then became a university lecturer at the University of Vienna. In 1960 he received the title of associate professor there. In 1956 he was visiting professor at the University of Baghdad and founded the herbarium there .

In 1962 he succeeded Hans Strouhal (1897–1969) as the first director of the Natural History Museum in Vienna, received the title of Hofrat and shortly thereafter the title Real Hofrat, service class VIII, the highest position that can be achieved in a career at Austrian federal museums . He retired in 1971, and was succeeded by Friedrich Bachmayer .

Rechinger died on December 30, 1998 at the age of 93 in Vienna. He was buried in his father's grave at the Vienna Central Cemetery .

Research and writings

In the course of his life, Rechinger collected over 80,000 plants, with a focus on the vascular plants of Greece and the highlands of Southwest Asia. He published the results of his work in over 200 scientific publications and was editor and co-author of Flora Iranica (179 volumes). Rechinger was the author of Flora Aegaea (1943, Supplementum 1949), Flora von Euboea , Flora of Lowland Iraq (1964) and - together with the Swiss botanist Werner Greuter - the flora of the island of Kythera (1967). He was also the editor of volumes 3 (1) and 3 (2) of the book Illustrierte Flora von Mitteleuropa, founded by Gustav Hegi , in the second edition from 1957 to 1971 .


In 1957 he was elected an extraordinary member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences . He was also a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle (1959), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1987), the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences in Copenhagen and the Linnean Society of London . He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lund and in 1981 the golden doctoral degree from the University of Vienna.

The moss genus Rechingerella J. Fröhl is named after Rechinger . , the lichen genus Rechingeria Servit and the mushroom genus Rechingeriella Petr.


See the complete list of publications by Hans Walter Lack: Karl Heinz Rechinger - a life for botany.


  • Hans Walter Lack : Karl Heinz Rechinger - a Grand Old Man in Botany. In: Plant Systematics and Evolution. Volume 155, No. 1-4, 1987, pp. 7-14, doi : 10.1007 / BF00936282 .
  • Hans Walter Lack: Karl Heinz Rechinger - a life for botany. In: Flora Mediterranea. Volume 10, 2000, pp. 11-64 ( PDF file ).
  • Ernst Vitek: Karl Heinz Rechinger (1906–1998). In: Annals of the Natural History Museum Vienna. Volume 101 B, 1999, pp. 7-12 ( PDF file; 2.3 MB ).
  • Robert Zander : Zander concise 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 .

Individual evidence

  1. Lotte Burkhardt: Directory of eponymous plant names - Extended Edition. Part I and II. Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin , Freie Universität Berlin , Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-946292-26-5 doi: 10.3372 / epolist2018 .

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