Karl Moritz Schumann

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Karl Moritz Schumann at his work table

Karl Moritz Schumann (born June 17, 1851 in Görlitz , † March 22, 1904 in Berlin ) was a German botanist . Its official botanical author's abbreviation is “ K.Schum. "

Live and act

Karl Moritz Schumann attended the Realgymnasium in Görlitz until 1869 . He then studied in Berlin , Munich and Breslau , where he initially dealt with chemistry, but later turned to botany. On July 19, 1873 he received his doctorate with the thesis Dickenwachsthum und Cambium at the University of Breslau . From 1872 to 1876 Schumann worked there as Heinrich Göppert's assistant. In November 1875 Schumann passed the Prussian state examination and from 1876 taught for eight years at the secondary school "Zum heiligen Geist" in Breslau. In the summer of 1884 he was employed by August Wilhelm Eichler as curator at the Botanical Museum Berlin . In June 1892 he was appointed professor and in the spring of 1893 was given the right to hold lectures on botany at the University of Berlin .

In 1890 Schumann was elected a member of the Leopoldina's Biology Section . In December 1892 he became chairman of the newly founded Society of Kakteenfreunde , which was renamed the German Cactus Society in 1898 . With a brief interruption in 1897, he held this office until his death. He died at the age of 52 from complications from a bladder operation.

Title page of Schumann's general description of the cacti

Schumann's most important work was the complete description of the cacti (Monographia Cactacearum) published in 1899 , the first comprehensive description on this topic. The then known 670 species of cacti were grouped into 21 genera . Schumann was responsible for the division of cacti into the subfamilies Pereskioideae , Opuntioideae and Ceroideae (the latter today Cactoideae ).

Together with Ernst Friedrich Gilg he published the work Das Pflanzenreich , Verlag J. Neumann, Neudamm (1900).

Karl Moritz Schumann contributed to The Natural Plant Families by Adolf Engler and Carl Prantl and to the Flora Brasiliensis by Martius . In addition, from 1900 to 1904 he published the first booklet of the collection of blooming cacti and wrote the textbook Praktikum for morphological and systematic botany (1904).

Schumann was since September 1891 editor of the monthly for cacti and from 1891 to 1902 co-editor of the atlas of official plants .


The German Cactus Society has been publishing the Schumannia magazine since 1994 . In addition, since 1995 it has endowed the Karl Schumann Prize annually for scientific work in the field of succulents.

According to Schumann, the plant genera Schumannia Kuntze from the umbelliferae family (Apiaceae), Neoschumannia Schltr. from the family of the dog poison plants (Apocynaceae), Schumannianthus Gagnep. from the family of arrowroot plants (Marantaceae) and Schumanniophyton Harms from the family of red plants (Rubiaceae). In addition, individual plant species such as the cycad Cycas schumanniana or Mammillaria schumannii , Cyperus karlschumannii and Notocactus schumannianus are named after him.

Fonts (selection)

  • The ant plants. Publishing house and Dr. A.-G., Hamburg 1889 ( digitized version )
  • with Karl Lauterbach: The flora of the German protected areas in the South Seas . Borntraeger Brothers, Leipzig 1901 doi: 10.5962 / bhl.title.717
  • with Karl Lauterbach: Supplements to the flora of the German protected areas in the South Seas . Borntraeger Brothers, Leipzig 1905 doi: 10.5962 / bhl.title.710



  • J. Perkins: Carl Schumann. In: Botanical Gazette. Volume 38, Number 2, 1904, pp. 143-145.
  • Georg Volkens : Karl Schumann. In: Reports of the German Botanical Society. Volume 22, 1904, pp. 49-59. (not evaluated)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member entry by Karl Schumann at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on April 11, 2015.
  2. Valentin Scholz, Hermann Stützel: Chronicle of the German Kakteen-Gesellschaft eV June 1999, p. 37.
  3. Erich Götz, Gerhard Gröner: Kakteen , 7th edition, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8001-6674-7
  4. ^ Robert Zander : Concise dictionary of plant names . Ed .: Fritz Encke, Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold. 13th edition. Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 .
  5. 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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