Theodor Friedrich Ludwig Nees von Esenbeck

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Theodor Friedrich Ludwig Nees von Esenbeck

Theodor Friedrich Ludwig Nees von Esenbeck (born July 26, 1787 in Reichenberg Castle near Reichelsheim in the Odenwald , † December 12, 1837 in Hyères ) was a German botanist and pharmacologist . From 1820 he called himself Nees von Esenbeck . Its official botanical author abbreviation is " T.Nees ".


Theodor Friedrich Ludwig Nees was the fifth child of Johann Conrad Nees, an Erbach-Erbachsche rent clerk, and his wife Friederike Dorothea Catharina Esenbeck from Giebelstadt . He spent the first 18 years of his life at Reichenberg Castle, in Erbach and on the estate of his brother Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck in Sickershausen near Kitzingen.


In September 1805 he took up a pharmaceutical apprenticeship with the court pharmacist Wilhelm Martius in Erlangen and continued this from 1811 in the "Golden Pharmacy" of the Bernoulli family in Basel. In addition to working in the pharmacy, he devoted himself intensively to the flora of his home. In addition, he went on botanical study trips and thus became a very good plant expert. To prepare for the exam, he switched to the pharmacist Heraeus in Hanau in 1816 . There he made friends with the zoologist Heinrich Kuhl , through whose intercession he received a call to Leiden / Holland in 1817 : the botanist Sebald Justinus Brugmans offered him a position as inspector of the botanical garden, which Nees accepted without hesitation.

He received his doctorate from the University of Erlangen on October 16, 1818 with a thesis on the propagation of deciduous mosses .

His influential brother Christian Gottfried Daniel Nees von Esenbeck (1776–1858), who was eleven years his senior and who now held the professorship for botany at the newly founded University of Bonn , brought him back to Germany. In Bonn he took up his work in the summer of 1819 as inspector of the new botanical garden and repetent of botany and qualified as a professor in pharmacy. In the same year he was accepted into the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina . His academic nickname was Lobelius .

In 1822 he was appointed associate professor and in 1827 full professor. After his brother moved to Breslau, he became co-director of the Botanical Garden in Bonn in 1833. His colleague was the botanist Ludolph Christian Treviranus .

Her marriage to Katharina Brassart, which she entered into in 1828, remained childless, and Katharina died in 1836.

Nees von Esenbeck died on December 12, 1837 in southern France during a stay at a health resort of tuberculosis ("pulmonary consumption").


The botanist Carl Ludwig Blume named in his honor, the plant genera Neesia and Esenbeckia from the family of mallow (Malvaceae).


Nees wrote numerous individual works on medicinal plants , their biology and ingredients, e.g. B. of cinchona , catechu , gambir and ratanhia . In addition, he made a name for himself as the author of pharmacological textbooks and beautiful botanical works.

Together with Philipp Wirtgen as well as Karl Wilhelm Arnoldi , Johann Carl Fuhlrott , Aimé Constant Fidèle Henry , Ludwig Clamor Marquart and others, Nees founded the Botanical Association on the Middle and Lower Rhine in 1834 , thereby significantly stimulating botanical research in the Rhineland.


  • Plantae officinales, or collection of officinal plants. Düsseldorf 1821-1833.
  • Collection of beautiful blooming plants in lithographed illustrations, for flower and garden lovers. - Düsseldorf: Arnz , 1831. ( digitized version )
  • Handbook of medicinisch-pharmaceutischen botany. 2 vol. Düsseldorf 1830–1832. ( Edited together with CH Ebermaier )
  • Plantae medicinales. Düsseldorf 1833
  • Genera Plantarum Florae Germanicae. Bonn 1833-1838.
  • The system of mushrooms. Bonn 1837.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. JDF Neigebaur : History of the Imperial Leopoldino-Carolinian German Academy of Natural Scientists during the second century of its existence. Friedrich Frommann, Jena 1860, p. 249
  2. 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 .
  3. ^ Members of the Botanical Association on the Middle and Lower Rhine as of July 31, 1836