Boissier, Pierre Edmond (1810-1885)
Boissier travelled much more extensively in other parts of Europe, however, visiting Italy, France, and Norway. From 1840 he had a growing desire to travel east in search of new plants and this year he married Lucile Butini. Two years later Boissier undertook his first trip to the Orient and soon returned to visit Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and Syria in 1845-1846. He often travelled in the company of his wife, but unfortunately she died of an infectious disease in 1849 while the pair were on a tour of Spain and North Africa (Algeria). They had a daughter, Caroline Barbey-Boissier, in 1847, who collected with her father and went on to marry the naturalist William Barbey, with whom she developed a large herbarium.
From the study of his extensive collection Boissier produced several important publications, known simply as his 'Diagnoses', they are comprised of the Diagnoses plantarum novarum hispanicum (published with Reuter in 1842) and Diagnoses plantarum orientalium novarum (1842-1859). Together these matter-of-fact catalogues contained the descriptions of 3336 species in 19 parts. Later on, in 1867, he produced a Flora orientalis which contains the descriptions of 11,681 species, and he also produced the Euphorbiaceae and Plumbaginaceae monographs for A. P. de Candolle's Prodromus. Despite the relegation of several of his names through synonymy his publications represent pioneering work which has been used as the baseline reference for the national floras of all the regions he visited. The Poaceae genus Boissiera Hochst. And Steud. As well as several specific epithets honour his name and his herbarium is housed in the botanic garden in Geneva: the Herbier Boissier (G-BOIS); with duplicates held in a large number of different herbaria.
B.J. Prinsen, The Pinsapo or Spanish silver spur, Andalucia travel guide:
http://www.andalucia-travelguide.com/about-andalucia/the-pinsapo-or-spanish-silver-spir/, accessed February 2010
F.A. Stafleu, 1970, "Boissier's Diagnoses", Taxon, 19: 803-805
F.A. Stafleu and R. S. Cowan, 1976-1998, Taxonomic Literature, (2nd edition)
Wikipedia, Pierre Edmond Boissier:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Edmond_Boissier, accessed February 2010.
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