Richard Wettstein

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Richard Wettstein on the 50 Schilling banknote (1962)

Richard Wettstein, Knight of Westersheim (b) (born June 30, 1863 in Rodaun ; today Vienna ; † August 10, 1931 in Trins , Tyrol ) was an Austrian botanist . He was the father of Otto Wettstein , Fritz von Wettstein and Wolfgang Wettstein (1898–1984). He was the founder of a plant system. His botanical author's abbreviation is “ Wettst. “His wife was Adele Kerner von Marilaun (1863–1938), the daughter of Anton Kerner von Marilaun .


Richard Wettstein studied natural sciences and medicine at the University of Vienna from 1881 , where he received his Dr. phil. PhD. He was a student, assistant and son-in-law of Anton Kerner von Marilaun . In 1886 he became a lecturer in botany and in 1888 adjunct at the Botanical Garden and Museum in Vienna. From 1892 he was a full professor of botany and director of the Botanical Garden and Institute of the University of Prague . In 1894 he became a member of the Leopoldina . In 1899 he was appointed full professor of systematic botany at the University of Vienna, where he was also director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna , which he had renovated, and the Institute of Botany. The garden and institute building were rebuilt under his direction in 1904/05. From 1901 he was President of the Vienna Zoological-Botanical Society . Research trips took him in 1901, as a participant in a botanical expedition of the Vienna Academy of Sciences , to Brazil and in 1929/30 with his son Fritz to South and East Africa . In 1908 he was chairman of the Society of German Natural Scientists and Doctors . From 1910 he was a member of the Academy of Sciences and in 1919 its vice-president. In 1913/14 he was rector of the University of Vienna . In 1914 he became a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences . In 1927 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1928 to the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . He belonged to the Russian Academy of Sciences from 1924 as a corresponding member and from 1927 as an honorary member (from 1925: Academy of Sciences of the USSR ). From 1930 to 1931 he was a member of the Senate of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society .

Wettstein worked primarily as a plant systematist; he founded the systematics of plants according to Wettstein and put forward the pseudanthia theory. For the work The Natural Plant Families by Adolf Engler in Volume 4 Number 3b, he edited the plant families " Nolanaceae , Solanaceae , Scrophulariaceae , Globulariaceae , Myoporaceae " (1891–1895).

Wettstein was appointed a member of the manor house in the Austrian Imperial Council in 1917. After the First World War he was a member of the Austrian-German joint venture founded in 1919, whose members for a terminal inserting Austria to the German Reich.


He was a member of the German Burschenschaft (DB)


The plant genera Wettsteinia Petrak from the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and Wettsteiniola Suesseng. from the Podostemaceae family have been named after him.

His likeness can be seen on the 50 Schilling banknote from 1962.

In Vienna, the Wettsteinpark in Leopoldstadt (2nd district), laid out in 1930, and Wettsteingasse in Floridsdorf (21st district, 1942) were named after him.


  • Basics of the geographic-morphological method of the plant systematics , 1898
  • Botany and zoology in Austria 1850–1900 , 1901
  • Neo-Lamarckism and its Relationship to Darwinism , 1903
  • Manual of systematic botany , 2 volumes, 1901–1908; 3rd edition 1924, 4th edition 1933–1935 ( edited by his son Fritz von Wettstein )


Web links

Commons : Richard Wettstein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Richard Wettstein  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of members Leopoldina, Richard von Wettstein
  2. 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. 257.
  3. ^ Foreign members of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1724. Richard von Wettstein. Russian Academy of Sciences, accessed August 10, 2015 .
  4. Friedrich FG Kleinwaechter, Heinz von Paller, Ernst Schoenian: The follow-up question in their cultural, political and economic importance . Braumüller, Vienna 1930, p. 610 ( google book search ).
  5. ^ Peter Berger: Brief history of Austria in the 20th century . 2nd Edition. Facultas, 2007, ISBN 978-3-7089-0354-5 ( Google book search ).
  6. Acta Studentica, 41/1981, p. 13
  7. 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 .