Collecting localities



Biographical data


Vidal y Soler, Sebastian


(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: 1842, Barcelona, Spain. Died: July 28, 1889, Manila, Luzon, P.I.



Came to the Philippines as Inspector General in the Forestry Bureau in 1871; from 1873-75 back in Spain, and in 1876 appointed Chief of the Commission for the Forest Flora of the Philippines.

He was the first of the local botanists in the Philippines to recognize the necessity of a local botanical library and herbarium, and further, the absolute necessity of comparing current collections of Philippine material with extant types in various European herbaria. In 1883 he accordingly worked in Europe on his collections, notably at Kew, in collaboration with R.A. Rolfe, then an Assistant in the Kew Herbarium, who prepared and published several papers on the Philippine flora. Vidal himself wrote some publications on the Philippine flora.1

He is commemorated in several Philippine plant names.


Collecting localities:6

Philippine Islands. Only few data are known, besides in Luzon he was some time in Mindanao in 1872, and also visited Palawan. In June 1880 he climbed Mt Mahayhay in Luzon

Luzon: Angat, Prov. of Bulacan; Bagag, Prov. Bataan; Tayabas; Calauan, San Antonio, Laguna; San Mateo, Manila; Angat, Prov. Bulacan; Mindanao: Surigao; Panay: Ilo(-)ilo; Luzon: La Paz, Prov. Tarlac; Arayat, Prov. Pampanga; Antipolo, Boso boso, San Isidro, Prov. Morong; Monte Banahao, Prov. Tayabas; Castillejos, Prov. Zambales; Caraballo, Prov. Nueva Ecija; San Juan del Monte, Prov. Manila; Centro de Luzon; Isla Alabat, Prov. Tayabas; Lupi, Iriga, Prov. Camarines Sur; Bucay, Prov. Bataan; Mt Maquiling, Prov. Batangas; Benguet, Prov. Benguet; Tarlac, Prov. Tarlac; Ilocos Norte, Ligmanan, Prov. Camarines Norte; Dumaran, Prov. Paragua; Isla de Marinduque; Isla Guimaras, Prov. Ilo-Ilo; Isla Panay: Concepcion; Luzon: Prov. Albay; Bontoc, Prov. N. Luzon; Prov. Union; Abra and Lepanto in N. Luzon; Goa, Mt Isarog in Camarines Sur; Infanta, Prov. Zambales; Mt Mayon, Prov. Albay; Iriga, Prov. Camarines Sur; ? Tuban (or ? Libon) and Bulusan, Prov. Albay; Isla Paragua (= Palawan); Luzon: Taal Volcano, Prov. Batangas; Panay: Miagao, Prov. Ilo-Ilo; Mayon Volcano, Prov. Albay; Mt Banahao and Lucban, Prov. Tayabas; Union Province.-Besides in Guimar (= Samar), Isl. Balabac, and in Cebu.



The material he brought together in the Forestry Bureau Building at Manila, is labelled and cited ‘Comision de la Flora Forestal de Filipinas’ no ... ; it was collected (by R. Garcia, Maeso, father M. Ramos, etc.) in Vidal’s series; it was destroyed by fire in 1897, as was the botanical library. Dupl. sets are extant in Herb. Kew [K]: 4063 nos (pres. 1883-86); in Mus. d. Ultramarino Madrid [MA]; and partial set (c. 2000) in Herb. Leiden [L]. In 1895 about 2000 duplicates had been presented to the Museo Biblioth. Manila, which disappeared during the unsettled state of affairs of the defunct museum in 1898.2 Also dupl. in Herb. Beccari (= Florence [FI]),3 in Herb. Pierre (= Paris [P]),4 and in Herb. Decand. (Geneva [G]). Herb. Arn. Arbor. [A]: 2528 dupl. (pres. 1958-59).

When incorporated, the Herb. Bot. Gard. Madrid [MA] (= Inst. Bot. Ant. J. Cavanilles) will include Vidal’s collection of ± 14.000 specimens, not all woody plants, collected by him and his assistants (cf. also sub Quadras and José Baranda). According to Mr Alston (in litt.) some labels of the collection are printed: ‘Inspection General de Montes’; these must be old labels dating from the original Forest Inspection (see under J.G. Valdez). On some labels was written ‘El Jefe (Chief) de la Comn’, the specimens in question might have been collected by Vidal himself. The specimens are unmounted, most not named, but appear to have been sorted into families once. Duplicates (± 4000) have been promised to Manila [PNH]. Dr E. Quisumbing took 319 dupl. from Madrid with him to Manila [PNH] in 1954.7

A catalogue of part of his plants was published by Ceron.5



(1) S. Vidal y Soler: ‘Sinopsis de familias y géneros de plantas leñosas de Filipinas. Introducción a la flora forestal del archipiélago filipino’ (1883, + Atlas); ‘Phanerogamae Cumingianae Philippinarum, ó Indice numérico y catálogo sistemático de las plantas fanerogamas colleccionadas en Filipinas por Hugh Cuming, con caracteristicas de algunas especies no descritas y del género Cumingia (Malváceas)’ (1885); ‘Revision de plantas vasculares Filipinas’ (1886); and many others.

(2) cf. Merrill in Bull. Philip. Bur. of Agric. Manila no 4, 1903, p. 35; and in ‘A discussion and bibliography of Philippine flowering plants’ (vol. 4 of Enum. Philip. Fl. PI., 1926), p. 51 and 53.

(3) cf. Martelli in Boll. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1902, p. 89.

(4) cf. in Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 15, 1909, p. 379-385.

(5) S. Ceron: ‘Catálogo de las plantas del herbario recolectado por el personal de la suprimida comisión de la flora forestal’ (Manila 1892).

(6) Copied from lists preserved at Kew Herbarium; and from bundles in Herb. Bot. Gard. Madrid by Mr A.H.G. Alston (June 1955).

(7) Cf. E. Quisumbing: ‘A report of my Trip’ (mimeogr. 1954) p. 60.


biographical data:

Ann. Bot. 3, 1889/90, p. 488; Merrill in Bull. Philip. Bur. of Agric. Manila no 4, 1903, p. 18-21 and in ‘Discussion and bibliography etc.’ 1926, p. 50-51; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Fl. Mal. Bull. no 17, 1962, p. 898-899 (statue).