RHEEDE TOT DRAKENSTEIN, Hendrik Adrian van

RHEEDE TOT DRAKENSTEIN, Hendrik Adrian vanUtrecht 13.4.1636 — on sea off Bombay 15.12.1691. Dutch Colonial Administrator and Botanist. Son of Ernst van Rheede and Elisabeth van Utenhove (d. 1637), a noble family, lost early his both parents. In 1656 joined Dutch E.I.C. as a soldier and went to India. In 1670-76 Governor of Dutch Malabar. Then member of the Counsel of India in Batavia (Jakarta). In 1684 made to inspect Cape Colony, Ceylon and Dutch India to eradicate corruption and during next years visited many trading posts.

In Kerala he collected a large illustrated botanical work. In this he employed a number of Indian assistants (who are also named by him) and with their help added the Arabic, Sanskrit and Malayālam names of the plants (also in the original writing). It remained long time one of the main sources about Indian plants and was much used by Linnaeus. Married Johanna Schaade, one daughter.

Publications: Hortus Indicus Malabaricus, Continens Regni Malabarici apud Indos celeberrimi omnis generis Plantas rariores, Latinis, Malabaricis, Arabicis, & Bramanum Characteribus nominibusque expressas, unà cum Floribus, Fructibus & seminibus, naturali magnitudine à peritissimis pictoribus delineatas, & ad vivum exhibitas. Addita insuper accurata earundem descriptione, qua colores, odores, sapores, facultates, & praecipue in Medicina vires exactissimè demonstrantur. 1-12. Amsterdam 1678-1703.

Sources: Wikipedia with portrait.

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