Robert Zander

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Robert Zander (born July 26, 1892 in Magdeburg , † May 8, 1969 in Berlin ) was a German botanist and horticultural scientist. He became known as the author of various standard works and writings for horticulture. Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Zander ".


Zander was born as the son of a nursery owner. He studied botany at the University of Halle .

In 1926 he received the order from the Reich Association of German Horticulture to deal with the nomenclature of cultivated plants . At the same time, he began to reorganize the association's library, which is located at the main office.

In 1934 the library of the dissolved Reich Association was merged with the library of the German Horticultural Society (DGG) and the holdings of the German Society for Garden Art under the name "German United Garden Library" . With 40,000 volumes, the library was now the fourth largest horticultural library in the world and the largest on the continent. Zander ran the library free of charge from 1934 to 1936 and looked for a new sponsor for it. He earned his living as the editor of several specialist magazines.

In 1936, the unregistered library of German horticulture was founded as a sponsoring association ; Zander as the library manager became an employee of the association. In 1939 the library moved to the ground floor of the Haus des Deutschen Gartenbaues in Schlüterstrasse 39, Berlin, where it was located until 1970.

During and after World War II , Zander kept the library going under the most difficult of circumstances and without payment. 1953–55 he was President of the DGG. He earned his living by editing several specialist journals from his office on Schlueterstrasse.

In 1957, Zander began a large-scale magazine evaluation with funds from the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forests . By 1960 he had evaluated 432 annual volumes of German magazines before 1900 and created 25,000 cards. Zander created a key word index in alphabetical order, which mainly contains plant names, but also technical terms, place names and personal names.

It was not until 1965 that a contract was signed which regulated the transfer of the library for usufruct by the Technical University of Berlin . Zander managed the library as a TU employee until his death in 1969 at the age of 76.


His best-known work, the concise dictionary of plant names , is now in its nineteenth edition. He became a member and secretary of the International Horticultural Nomenclature Committee and a member of the German Working Group for Horticultural Nomenclature. As head of the horticultural library at the university library of the Technical University of Berlin, he was the first address for many academic papers thanks to his extensive knowledge of literature.

Robert Zander died on May 8, 1969 in Berlin. His grave in the Schmargendorf cemetery was an honorary grave of the city of Berlin until 2011 . Important parts of his estate are in the possession of the German Horticultural Library eV, whose holdings are housed in the university library of the TU Berlin .


Here is a selection of his most important works:

  • Contribution to the knowledge of the tertiary woods of the Geiseltal . In: brown coal . Year XXII, No. 2 , January 1923, DNB  361344287 (Dr. dissertation University of Halle (Saale), 12 pages, printed in issue 2 of April 14, 1923 p. 17 f and in issue 3 of April 21, 1923 on p. 38 f).
  • Guide through the Botanical Garden of the University of Halle / Saale . 1925.
  • Concise dictionary of plant names and their explanations . Gärtnerische Verlagsgesellschaft Berlin, Berlin (from the 7th edition: Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart).
  • Miracle of flowers . In: Path to Knowledge . tape 76 . Ullstein, Berlin 1927.
  • with Zander's collaboration: guidelines for horticultural vocational school lessons . Gärtnerische Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin 1929.
  • Parasitic plants . Brehmverlag, Berlin 1930.
  • Zander's large garden dictionary . Ullstein, Berlin 1934.
  • with Zander's collaboration: Clever Alphabet . Propylaenverlag (1934/35).
  • Dictionary of horticultural terms in four languages . Office of the International Horticultural Congress, Berlin 1938.
  • Specialized dictionary of the canning industry in eight languages . Dr. Serger & Hempel, Braunschweig 1939.
  • together with Clara Teschner: Der Rosengarten, a historical study spanning two millennia . Trowitzsch & Son, Frankfurt / O. 1939.
  • History of fruit growing . In: Trenkles textbook of fruit growing . Bechtold & Co., Wiesbaden 1942 (and following editions).
  • The art of describing plants . Ulmer, Stuttgart 1939 (2nd edition 1947).
  • German-Botanical Dictionary . Ulmer, Stuttgart 1940 (2nd edition 1947 as "Small Botanical Foreign Dictionary").
  • The plant in the love life of peoples . In: Natural history . Hanover and Berlin-Zehlendorf 1951.
  • History of gardening . Ulmer, Stuttgart 1952.

The "Zander Concise Dictionary of Plant Names"

Zander's main work is the concise dictionary of plant names and their explanations , which will continue to be published after his death under the slightly modified title Zander Concise Dictionary of Plant Names. It is a standard work which is mainly useful for finding the nomenclaturally correct botanical name of the plant species.

Zander received the impetus for the creation of this valuable concise dictionary in 1926 when he was called to Berlin by the Reich Association of German Horticulture with the task of creating a concise dictionary of plant names that should serve as the basis for a uniform naming of plants used in horticulture. Zander implemented the order so quickly that the first edition could appear as early as 1927.

The editions published by Zander himself were:

  • 1st edition: Berlin 1927, addendum 1928
  • 2nd edition: Berlin 1932
  • 3rd edition: Berlin 1936
  • 4th edition: Berlin early 1938
  • 5th edition: Berlin at the end of 1938
  • 6th edition: Berlin 1940
  • 7th edition: Stuttgart 1954
  • 8th edition: Stuttgart 1955
  • 9th edition: Stuttgart 1964

The 1st to 6th edition was published by the Gärtnerische Verlagsgesellschaft in Berlin, the 7th to 9th edition by Eugen Ulmer Verlag in Stuttgart. In creating the 9th edition, Zander worked with Fritz Joseph Encke and Arno Fritz Günther Buchheim .

After Zander's death, beginning with the 10th edition, the work will continue to be published in heavily revised editions, with a team of authors acting as the editor. These editions continued to be published by Eugen Ulmer Verlag in Stuttgart; in addition to the editors Fritz Encke and Güßnther Buchheim, who were already involved in the 9th edition, Siegmund Seybold joined the group from the 10th edition ; From the 16th edition, Walter Erhardt , Erich Götz and Nils Bödeker were added:

  • 10th edition: Stuttgart 1972 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 11th edition: Stuttgart 1979 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 12th edition: Stuttgart 1980 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 13th edition: Stuttgart 1984 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 14th edition: Stuttgart 1993 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 15th edition: Stuttgart 1994 - Encke, Buchheim, Seybold
  • 16th edition: Stuttgart 2000 - Erhardt, Götz, Bödeker, Seybold
  • 17th edition: Stuttgart 2002 - Erhardt, Götz, Bödeker, Seybold
  • 18th edition: Stuttgart 2008 - Erhardt, Götz, Bödeker, Seybold
  • 19th edition: Stuttgart 2014 - Erhardt, Götz, Bödeker, Seybold

The "Zander Concise Dictionary of Plant Names" became a valuable guide for gardeners , foresters , pharmacists and botanists and has remained so to this day. Its users call it the "pikeperch" for short.

In the 13th edition, the pikeperch already contained 3,204 genera and 13,568 species; together with synonyms and entries below the species rank, this edition comprised 26,310 name entries. From the 16th edition, the pikeperch will be created on the basis of an electronic database. The 19th edition contains 20,750 species from 3,603 genera and 8,981 synonyms.

In addition to the main part, the alphabetical listing of the genera and species, the pikeperch also contains an introduction to the botanical rules of nomenclature, a systematic overview of the plant kingdom and an alphabetical listing of the authors of the plant names.


The plant genus Zandera D.L. Schulz from the sunflower family (Asteraceae) is named after Robert Zander .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Encke, Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold: Zander hand dictionary of plant names . 13th edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 , pp. 6-7 .
  2. ^ Fritz Encke, Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold: Zander hand dictionary of plant names . 13th edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5 , pp. 4-7 .
  3. ^ Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Zander hand dictionary of plant names . 17th edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-8001-3573-6 , pp. 6-10 .
  4. 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 .