Werner Rauh

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Werner Rauh (born May 16, 1913 in Niemegk (Bitterfeld district) , † April 7, 2000 in Heidelberg ) was an internationally known German botanist . Its official botanical author's abbreviation is " Rauh ".

Rauh dealt with the systematics , morphology and biogeography of plants . On many expeditions he explored the flora of America , Africa and Asia . His focus was on bromeliads and succulent plants. About 1200 species , subspecies and varieties were discovered and / or described by Werner Rauh. His herbarium material is deposited in the Heidelberg Herbarium of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg . His collection of living plants can still be seen in the local botanical garden.

What is particularly striking in his works is the pictorial language with which he managed to vividly describe the locations of the plant species.


Werner Rauh was born on May 16, 1913 in Niemegk. He finished his school education in 1932 with the Abitur at the local high school . He then studied botany , zoology , chemistry and geology at the universities of Leipzig , Innsbruck and Halle (Saale) . In 1937 he completed his studies at the University of Halle with a doctorate . His dissertation dealt with hypocotyl and root formation and their influence on the shape of the plant. After he had an assistant position in the Botanical Institute of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in 1939, he served as a meteorologist in the Navy during the Second World War . Back in Heidelberg in 1955 he became an associate professor at the university. In 1960 he received a full professorship, became director of the newly founded Institute for Plant Systematics and Plant Geography (Geobotany) and director of the Heidelberg Botanical Garden . After his retirement in 1981 he remained director of the botanical garden until 1982.

Werner Rauh had been a member of the International Organization for Succulent Research (IOS) since 1959 , became Vice President in 1976 and served on the organization's board until his death in 2000.


Most of Werner Rauh's estate (field books, photographs and slide collection) is with Rauh's pupil Wilhelm Barthlott in Bonn. A smaller part (expedition diaries, collection of reprints, manuscripts) and most of Rauh's herbarium material, including hundreds of collections of types , is in the Heidelberg Botanical Garden and Herbarium . There, his estate has been systematically processed since 2009 in the "Werner Rauh Heritage Project", which is financed by the Klaus Tschira Foundation .



Taxa named after Rauh

The plant species were named in his honor

The following plant species were also named after him:


  • Morphology of crops. 2nd Edition. Quelle & Meyer-Verlag, Heidelberg 1950.
  • Beautiful cacti and other succulents (= Winter's scientific paperbacks. Vol. 31, ZDB -ID 521590-0 ). Winter, Heidelberg 1967 (2nd, completely revised edition. Bornträger, Berlin et al. 1978, ISBN 3-443-25331-8 ; also as: The 100 Most Beautiful Cacti (= Humboldt Pocket Books 370 Practical Guide ). Shortened paperback edition. Humboldt-Taschenbuchverlag , Munich 1980, ISBN 3-581-66370-8 ).
  • Bromeliads. For rooms and greenhouses. 2 volumes (Vol. 1: Die Tillandsioideen. Vol. 2: Die Bromelioideen and Pitcairnioideen. ). Ulmer, Stuttgart 1970–1973, ISBN 3-8001-6007-2 (Vol. 2), (2nd, revised edition as: Bromeliads. Tillandsias and other culturally worthy bromeliads. Ibid 1981, ISBN 3-8001-6029-3 ; 3 ., revised and expanded edition. ibid 1990, ISBN 3-8001-6371-3 ).
  • The great world of succulents. Cultivation and cultivation of succulent plants with the exception of cacti. Parey, Berlin et al. 1967 (2nd, revised edition. Ibid 1979, ISBN 3-489-60724-4 ).
  • Cacti in their locations. With special consideration of their morphology and systematics. With keys to determine the genres. Parey, Berlin et al. 1979, ISBN 3-489-51924-8 .
  • Succulent and Xerophytic Plants of Madagascar. 2 volumes. Strawberry Press, Mill Valley CA 1995-1998, ISBN 0-912647-14-0 (Vol. 1), ISBN 0-912647-17-0 (Vol. 2).

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