1844 – 1930
Who was Adolf Engler?
Even now, his system of plant classification, the Engler system, is still used by many herbaria and is followed by writers of many manuals and floras. It is still the only system that treats all 'plants' in such depth.
Engler published a prodigious number of taxonomic works. He used various artists to illustrate his books, notably Joseph Pohl, an illustrator who had served an apprenticeship as a wood-engraver. Pohl's skill drew Engler's attention, starting a collaboration of some 40 years. Pohl produced more than 33 000 drawings in 6 000 plates for Die naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien. He also illustrated Das Pflanzenreich, Die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas, Monographien afrikanischer Pflanzenfamilien and the journals Engler's botanische Jahrbücher.
He received the Linnean Medal in 1913. The International Association for Plant Taxonomy established the Engler Medal in his honour in 1986, to be awarded for outstanding contributions to plant taxonomy.
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