K. S. Manilal biography

K. S. Manilal


1938 –


Who is K. S. Manilal?

Professor Kattungal Subramaniam Manilal, is an Emeritus of the University of Calicut, a botany scholar and taxonomist, who devoted over 35 years of his life to research, translation and annotation work of the Latin botanical treatise Hortus Malabaricus. This epic effort brought to light the main contents of the book, a wealth of botanical information on Malabar that had largely remained inaccessible to English-speaking scholars, because the entire text was in the Latin language.

Despite the existence of Hendrik van Rheede's Hortus Malabaricus over the last three centuries, the correct taxonomic identity of many plants listed in Hortus Malabaricus, their medicinal properties, methods of use, etc., as described and codified by renowned traditional medical authorities of 17th century India remained inaccessible to English language based scholars, until Manilal commenced publication of research papers and books on Hortus Malabaricus.

Manilal efforts ultimately resulted in an English edition of Hortus Malabaricus, for the first time, 325 years after its original publication from Amsterdam. The English edition contains a word by word translation of all the twelve volumes of the book, retaining the original style of language. Medicinal properties of plants are translated and interpreted, with commentaries on their Malayalam names given by Van Rheede. In addition, the correct scientific identity of all plants, acceptable under ICBN are set out along with their important synonyms and basionyms.


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Sep 17, 1938
Kingdom of Cochin
  • India
  • University of Sagar
Lived in
  • Kozhikode

on July 23, 2013

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