Collecting localities



Biographical data


Schlechter, Friedrich Richard Rudolph


(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 1: Cyclopaedia of collectors)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 8: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement II)


Born: 1872, Berlin, Germany. Died: 1925, Berlin, Germany.



Botanist who made several expeditions to Africa and the Malay Archipelago for economic-botanical purposes. The two New Guinea expeditions (see below), in search for gutta-percha and caoutchouc-yielding plants, were financed by the ‘Kolonial-Wirtschaftliche Komitee’, Berlin.1

He is author of numerous taxonomic papers dealing with orchids, and some with other families of plants, and beside of some plant-geographical publications.2

Polyalthia rudolphi Diels, Gmelina schlechteri H.J. Lam, and many other species were named in his honour.


Collecting localities:1, 3











1901-02.4 Sailing from Naples (Dec. 13, 1900); Malay Peninsula: Singapore and environs (Jan. 5-17, 1901); Malacca and Mt Ophir (Jan. 18-Febr. 7); Singapore-Penang-Taiping and G. Hijan (Febr. 8-19); Penang-Sumatra East Coast (Belawan, Deli, Medan, Lan(g)kat, Laut Tador (= ? Tawar)-Penang (Febr. 20-March 13); Penang-Malay Peninsula (Perak and G. Hijan)-Singapore (March 14-28); Singapore-Br. N. Borneo (Labuan (Apr. 2-3), Kudat (4-7), Sandakan (8-9), Labuan (11-16))-.NW. Borneo (Sarawak, Brunei)-Singapore (March 29-Apr. 23); Singapore-Riouw-Centr. Sumatra (Indragiri, Rengat)-Singapore (Apr. 24-May 14); Singapore (May 15-June 6); Singapore-Java (Batavia (9), Buitenzorg, Bandoeng, Soerabaja) (June 7-27); from Soerabaja to SE. Borneo: Bandjermasin, Balikpapan, Samarinda, the Mahakam (= Koetai River), Tengaroeng (= Tenggarong), Ma Kaman, Ma Klindjau (June 28-July 24); Koetai region, middle course of the Mahakam (July 25-Aug. 19); to Samarinda-Bandjermasin-P. Bawean (N of Java)-Java (Soerabaja) (Aug. 20-Sept. 2); Soerabaja-Semarang-Batavia (Sept. 5)-Buitenzorg-Tjibodas and G. Gedeh-Batavia-Billiton-Riouw-Singapore (Sept. 3-18); Singapore-Riouw (Tandjoeng Penang) (Sept. 19); stay at Pasir Tandjang (22-25); Singapore (26-27); sailing (28) for Makassar (SW. Celebes); Ambon (Oct. 7); Banda (collected on G. Api, Oct. 8); former Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, NE. New Guinea: Berlinhafen (15); Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (17); Erima Hafen; Finschhafen-Bismarck Archipelago (Herbertshöhe, Neu Pommern = New Britain) (21); staying at Herbertshöhe (21-27); Gazelle Peninsula, Massawa (29), Weberhafen; back to Herbertshöhe (Nov. 7); sailing (18) for Neu Mecklenburg (= New Ireland), visiting Rossel Mts, etc.; from Herbertshöhe (Dec. 14) to the mainland of NE. New Guinea: Friedrich Wilhelmshafen; Stephansort (19); from Erima Hafen to the Ramu River (26); Ramu Station (Jan. 3-10, 1902); Bismarck Mts (up to 1800 m alt.); Ramu Station (24-26); Erima (Febr. 7); sojourn at Stephansort; setting out (26) to Finisterre Mts, forced to return at 600 malt.; Konstantinhafen (March 8); Stephansort (March 15-Apr. 6); Seleo (Apr. 8), Berlinhafen; tour to the Torricelli Mts (13-24); Seleo (May 4-8); Neu Pommern: Herbertshöhe (May 20-29); Nusa (May 30); Neu Mecklenburg (= New Ireland): Kavieng (-June 15), making a trip starting at the NW. point and following the N. coast till halfway the island and then crossing it via the mountains of Punam; Bo (June 28); Rossel Mts (6 days); sailing via Neu Lauenburg (= Duke of York Island) to Mioko (July 15); Neu Pommern: Herbertshöhe, from where (Aug. 14 or 15) departing for Sydney and New Caledonia.4-1906-10.1 Sailing from Genoa (Oct. 23, 1906); Penang; Singapore (Nov. 14-22), visiting Bt Timah; Singapore (23)-W. Java (Batavia (26), Buitenzorg (27-Dec. 2), Tjampea, Tjipetir (3-5), Batavia)-Singapore ( -Dec. 25);5 NW. Borneo, Sarawak: Kuching (Dec. 28, 1906-Jan. 1, 1907); Sarawak (2)-Singapore (2-4); Singapore (4)-Tandjang Prick (Java)-Sunda Strait-S. Sumatra (Telok Betong, Benkoelen)-Sumatra West Coast (Indrapoera, Emmahaven, Padang (Jan. 11-early Febr.) and environs, Padang Pandjang, Agam, Fort de Kock, G. Merapi and back to Padang) (till Febr. 10); Padang (11)-Indrapoera-Benkoelen-Batavia-Singapore ( -23); Singapore (leaving 24)-Hongkong-Philippines (Luzon, Manila) (March 4-5)-NE. New Guinea (Friedrich Wilhelmshafen) (13)-Bismarck Archipelago (French Island, Herbertshöhe (16-21) in Neu Pommern); Herbertshöhe (23)-Simpson Hafen-French Island-NE. New Guinea: Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (26-27), Stephansort (28), Konstantinhafen, Bulu (29); headquarters at Bala (March 29, 1907-Febr. 28, 1908), from there making many trips into the interior, in the environs of Bulu, Konstantinberg, Kalika, Damum, the Minjem and the Mudjene, Wangi and Albu, Bongu and Melamu (Konstantinhafen), Stephansort, the Djamu, Gatiberg, Kaniberg, lbo Mrs (detailed data cf. Literature sub 3), visiting most places several times; leaving Bulu (March 1, 1908), Finschhafen, Adolfhafen (4); penetrating into the interior along the Uaria (= Waria or Herkules River)6 (ascending it till the 12th, the 15th back at the mouth), climbing Gomadjidji-Berg; Bulu (18); from Bulu making trips in the neighbourhood of the Minjem and the Mudjene, etc.; tour to the Finisterre Mts up to 1000 m alt. (July 6-31); trip to Kenija (= Ramu) (Aug. 12-26); 2nd tour to the Finisterre Mts up to 1200 m (Aug. 27-Sept. 17); via the Ramu to the Bismarck Mts up to 1600 m (Sept. 18-Nov. 1); part of the way back and once more in the Bismarck Mts up to 2000 m (Nov. 2-Dec. 4); via the Ramu back to Bulu (Dec. 5-31); from Bulu to the Finisterre Mts up to 1300 m (Jan. 1-21, 1909); return march (Jan. 22-Febr. 8) to Bulu; from Bulu to Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (Hansemannberg), Biliao and Hilo and back to Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (Febr. 9-Apr. 3); 2nd trip to the Waria (= Herkules River) (Apr. 4-June 6), visiting Stephansort, Finschhafen (5), Bukaua (5), Adolfhafen, ascending the river, Gomadjidji-Berg, Dischore summit (above 1300 m) (May 31-June 6); return (June 7-July 6) to the mouth of the Waria; from July 7-27 visiting Adolfhafen, Margot River, Bukaua, Finschhafen (Sattelberg) (14-16), Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (17); by boat to the mouth of the Ramu; going up the Kaiserin Augusta (= Sepik) River for about 185 sea-miles, and return to Dallmanhafen (July 28-Aug. 6); trip to Muschu (7), Eitape (8), St Anna (18-22), Tadji, Wokau, Pro, back to Eitape (25), and Paub (Aug. 29-Sept. 1); Torricelli Mts, setting out from Paub via Jemur River to Akur (Sept. 2-9); Apur (10), returning (10-27) to Paub via Rin-Tejao and Rin-Jemur bivouacs; Pro (28), Eitape (28-Oct. 10), Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (Oct. 11-21), sailing from Friedrich Wilhelmshafen (Oct. 21), along the coast of Dutch New Guinea, via Banda, Ambon and Boeroe, to Celebes7 (22-30); SW. Celebes: stay at Makassar (Oct. 31-Nov. 3); by boat along the W. coast (4-10) to N. Celebes: Manado (11-14); Tomohon (Nov. 15-Dec. 5), visiting G. Masarang, G. Mahawo, G. Lokon and Tampuso (= Tompaso); Tondano (6), from where to Ayermadidi (= Airmadidi) (7); to the summit of G. Klabat and back ( -19); via Tondano to Kakas, G. Kawang (Kombi); Lango(w)an-Ratahan (24); back to Lango(w)an-Kawangkoan-Lansot (26); G. Sopoetan (27-30); Kawangkoan-Sonder-Tomohon (31); from Tomohon (Jan. 3, 1910) to Manado; sailing (10) to Toli-Toli (12); by proa going up the Kuala Besar (17); ascending the Lampasioe River (20); by canoe to the isl. of Kabetau (= Kabetan) ( ? 24); ill at Toli-Toli (Jan. 25-Febr. 5), and the next day by boat to SW. Celebes: Makassar (staying till Febr. 20); Makassar (21)-Bawean-Karimon Djawa -W. Java (Batavia); Buitenzorg (-March 10); sailing from Batavia (11), via Banka, Singapore, Penang, to Sumatra East Coast: Medan, Rindjai (= ? Bindjei) Estate and Lau Boentoe, Bandar Baroe (Pentani Fall) and back to Medan and Rindjai Estate; embarking at Belawan (Apr. 11) and via Penang, Colombo, etc. to Europe, arriving at Naples on May 1st.



Herb. Berlin [B] from exp. 1901-02 and 1907-10 (numbers see below). Separate collections of Orchidaceae, Primulaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Burmanniaceae, and Triuridaceae to Herb. Berl. [B] (acq. 1913); these collections include many specimens from other collectors, viz Ridley, Fleischer, J.J. Smith, Kaempf [Kempter?], Loria, Giulianetti, W. MacGregor, Werner, etc. and were inserted in the general herbarium, except the orchids which remained under the supervision of Schlechter. In the Herb. Berl. [B] besides, a small collection of New Guinea mosses; some material in the Show Mus. Berlin. Dupl. in Herb. Paris [P]: 200 New Guinea plants and 86 Sumatra orchids (pres. 1910); ferns in Herb. Bonaparte (= Paris [P]); Herb. Kew [K]: Orchid. and Asclep. (pres. 1905), Sumatra and New Guinea plants (purch. 1910), Celebes plants (pres. 1912), ferns (pres. by Bonaparte in 1923), New Guinea orchids (purch. 1924), a collection (purch. 1927), 300 New Guinea plants (pres. 1934); in Herb. Brit. Mus. [BM]: 123 specimens (mainly orchids, by exch. 1905), 61 Sumatra orchids (exch. 1911), 175 phanerogams + 76 cryptog. New Guinea (purch. 1911); Herb. Bog. [BO]: 420 New Guinea plants (purch. 1909), 90 nos Orch. Mal. (1910), some hundreds of orchid dupl. (pres. 1927-29); Herb. Leiden [L]: orchids from Papua and the Malay Archipelago and plants from New Guinea (purch. 1933/34) and several dupl. from Borneo, Sumatra, Celebes, etc.; Herb. Deless. (Geneva [G]): 516 nos (acq. 1919-21) + 353 New Guinea plants (acq. 1934); Herb. Stockholm [S]: 200 dupl. Orch. Celebes, 500 Orch. New Guinea; Herb. Copenhagen [C]: New Guinea plants; Herb. Manila [PNH]: dupl. Sumatra orchids (exch. 1910/11), Malayan orchids and Asclep. 122 (1911/12); Herb. Sydney [NSW]: 48 orchids former German New Guinea and New Caledonia (acq. 1906); Herb. Calcutta [CAL]: 170 New Guinea dupl. (acq. 1910/ 11); Herb. Field (= Nat. Hist.) Mus. Chicago [F]: 197 New Guinea plants (purch. 1927); Herb. N.Y. Bot. Gard. [NY]: 407 New Guinea plants (purch. 1934); in Herb. Hamburg [HBG]: dupl. voyage (not mentioned which) (acq. 1912); U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US]: 89 New Guinea plants; Herb. Univ. Zürich [Z] (Papua); a few in Herb. Univ. Amsterdam [AMD]; Herb. Lyons (with Herb. Bonaparte [LY]): phanerogams (Mr Alston suspects it to be Schlechter’s private herbarium); Herb. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh [E]: 320 New Guinea phanerogams (from Frau Schlechter). Orchids in private Herb. R. Gross (Berlin). Herb. Sydney [NSW]: c. 400 dupl. New Guinea orchids.11 Also orchid dupl. in O. Ames Herb. [GH] and Herb. Mo. Bot. Gard. [MO].12

New Guinea plants were offered for sale by Th. Oswald Weigel in 1922 (mainly pteridophytes). Schlechter presented living material from New Guinea to Hort. Sing. (in 1902), and Celebes orchids to Hort. Bog. (in 1910).

From the Expedition 1901-02 the following numbers: Borneo 13101-13140, Malacca (= Malay Peninsula) 13141-13241, Sumatra 13242-13329, Borneo 13330-13569, Java 13570-13633, Riouw Arch. 13634-13658, Moluccas 13659-13668, New Guinea & Bismarck Arch. 13669-14712.

Schlechter had to spend most of his time in search of gutta-percha and caoutchouc-yielding plants,8 but in his spare time he brought together a collection of pteridophytes and phanerogams, including 300 nos of orchids which were analysed and drawn in situ.9

From the Expedition 1907-10 the following numbers: Borneo 15820-15844, Sumatra (1907) 15845-16035, New Guinea 16036-20399, Celebes 20400-20725, Sumatra (1910) 20726-20784. During this expedition he was assisted by the native plant collectors Sikin and Takadu (see those).

The collections were partly studied,10 and the remaining part preliminary identified.



(1) R. Schlechter: ‘Reisebericht der Guttapercha- and Kautschuk-Expedition nach den Südsee-Kolonien’ (Tropenpflanzer 5, 1901, p. 211-220, 318-329, 372-382, 457-471, 539-543, 602, + fig.; l.c. 6, 1902, p. 22-30, 213-234, 394-402; l.c. 7, 1903, p. 308-320; ‘Die Guttapercha- and Kautschuk-Expedition nach Kaiser Wilhelmsland, 1907-09’ (Berlin Kol. Wirtsch. Kom. 1911, 171 pp., 6 pl., 3 maps).

(2) R. Schlechter: ‘Allgemeine Bemerkungen über das Vorkommen der Pteridophyten in Neu-Guinea’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 49, 1912, p. 1-6); ‘Allgemeine pflanzengeographische and systematische Bemerkungen’ (in ‘Orchidaceae von Deutsch Neu Guinea’ 1914, 65 pp.); cf. also sub 10.

(3) cf. also itinerary in ‘Nachruf’ in Notizbl. Berl. Dahl. (l.c. sub Biogr. data) p. 924-938.

(4) R. Schlechter: ‘Reise nach Hinterindien, Malaisien and Neu-Kaledonien’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 32, 1903, Beibl. 72, p. 7-10); cf. also in Tropenpflanzer l.c. sub 1, and Deutsch. Kolon. Blatt and Deutsche Kolonialzeit. 1901 and 1902.

(5) R. Schlechter: ‘Reisebericht aus Singapore’ (Tropenpflanzer 11, 1907, p. 79-80).

(6) R. Schlechter: ‘Bericht über eine Erkundigungstour nach dem Uaria (Herkules Fluss) in Neu Guinea’ (Tropenpflanzer 12, 1908, p. 569-573).

(7) Itinerary Celebes cf. in Fedde Repert. 21, 1925, p. 113-116.

(8) R. Schlechter : ‘Über die neue Guttapercha von Neuguinea’ (Tropenpflanzer 7, 1903, p. 467-471).

(9) For further data cf. Schumann, Nachtr. z. Flora d. deutsch. Schutzgeb. i.d. Südsee, 1905, p. 16-17.

(10) R. Schlechter: ‘Zur Kenntnis der Orchidaceen von Celebes’ (Fedde Repert. 10, 1911, p. 1-40, 66-96, 177-213); ‘Die Orchidaceae von Deutsch Neu-Guinea’ (1911-14, in Fedde Repert. Beih. 1, lxvi + 1079 pp.); ‘Die Orchidaceen der Insel Celebes’ (Fedde Repert. 21, 1925,p. 113-212; incl. itinerary p. 113-116); ‘Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Orchideen-Flora von Sumatra’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 45, 1911, Beibl. no 104, p. 1-61; coll. Jan.-Febr. 1910); many families in the ‘Beiträge zur Flora Papuasiens’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. vol. 49→).

Philippine Asclepiadaceae in Philip. Journ. Sci. C. Bot. l, 1906, Suppl. p. 295-303, 453-472 and in Fedde Repert. 13, 1915, p. 537-544, 554-566; ‘Beiträge z. K. der Asclepiadaceae des Monsungebietes’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 40, 1908, Beibl. 92, p. 1-19); ‘Neue Asclepiadaceae von Sumatra and Celebes’ (Beihefte Bot. Centr. Bl. 342, 1917, p. 1-18).

(11) H.M.R. Rupp: ‘The Schlechter collections of Orchidaceae in the National Herbarium of New South Wales’ (Contr. N.S.W. Nat. Herb. l, 1950, p. 304-311).

(12) P.J.B. Woods: ‘The whereabouts of Schlechter’s New Guinea duplicates of Liparis (Orch.)’ (Not. R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 26, 1965, p. 361-364). W.H. Lewis: ‘Schlechter’s New Guinea duplicates of Liparis (Orch.) at the Missouri Botanical Garden’ (Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 53, 1966, p. 259-260).


biographical data:

Notizbl. Berl. Dahl. 9, 1926, p. 912-958, incl. bibliogr. and detailed itinerary; Journ. Bot. 64, 1926, p. 24-25; Amer. Orch. Soc. Bull. 2, 1933, p. 20-21; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; portr. in Oakes Ames Lab., at Cambridge (Mass.).