Collecting localities



Biographical data


Holttum, Richard Eric


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

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

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

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


Born: 1895, Linton, Cambridgeshire, England.



Studied botany at Cambridge; in 1921 a member of the West Greenland expedition with Prof. Seward; Assistant Director of Gardens, Straits Settlements, 1922-25, afterwards Director. From 1949-54 Professor of Botany, Raffles College, University of Malaya; in 1951 or 1952 D.Sc. at Cambridge, and in 1954 honorary doctor in the University of Malaya; in Nov. 1954 he retired and settled at Kew.

In 1953 and 1954 he wrote books on plant life, orchids, and gardening in Malaya.

In Nov. 1957 he arrived at Bogor, Java, for a stay of some months, working in the Herbarium, and certainly occasionally collecting plants.

After a study tour to the U.S.A. etc. from Nov. 1959-May 1960, he paid a short visit to Bogor (Java) and Singapore.5 In 1964 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Linnean Society. He occasionally makes herbarium study tours round the world.

He is specially interested in pteridophytes; author of many papers dealing with ferns, orchids, flower biology, etc. Co-editor of Flora Malesiana for the ferns.

Sterculia holttumii Ridl. was named after him.


Collecting localities:1

1922. Malay Peninsula. With I.H. Burkill (Sept. 15-Oct. 11) visiting Fraser Hill, Kuala Lumpur, P. Penang, Prov. Wellesley, Port Swettenham; excursion (Nov. 15-Dec. 5) to Centr. Johore, G. Lambak; Negri Sembilan, G. Tampin and G. Angsi.-1923. G. B(e)lumut in Johore (May 23-31);2 Fraser Hill (Aug. 25-Sept. 17).-1924. Sumatra East Coast: Brastagi (Sept.); Malay Peninsula: G. Pulai in Johore (Nov.).-1925. Kedah Peak (March 31-Apr. 2); G. Panti (Apr. 11-13); Kuala Trengganu and neighbourhood (May 6-20), at Pulau Kapas etc.; Langkawi Isls (Aug. 17-31): P. Langkawi and P. Dayang Bunting.-1926. G. Panti in Johore (Febr.); Penang Hills at various times; W. Java (Aug.): Buitenzorg and Tjibodas.-1928. Malay Peninsula: short expedition to G. Muntahak and the upper tributaries of the Pelepah River in SE. Johore (March); G. Tahan (Aug. 19-Sept. 10: collected near the Tahan and Teku rivers, etc.).-1929. Fraser Hill (10 days’ stay in March).-1930. Cameron Highlands (Apr., fortnight’s stay at Tanah Rata); Mt Ophir (at Easter) with F. Verdoorn.-1931. Pahang, at various localities between Mentabak and Tembeling (Apr.); swampy forest bordering the Sg. Endau in Johore (July); Cameron Highlands (Sept.); Brit. N. Borneo: joining the Clemens Expedition (see there) on the slopes of Mt Kinabalu (Nov.-Dec.).-1932. Malay Peninsula: trip to S. Johore with Corner.-1933. W. Sumatra (Benkoelen Res. and Sumatra West Coast in Febr.): Mt Dempo, Korinchi Peak (= G. Kerintji; Febr. 13), Mt Merapi (19), Kamang Mts (21), Mt Singgalang (23); Malay Peninsula: short visit from Penang to the vicinity of kp. Naka, Kedah (Sept.).-1936. Cameron Highlands (May).-1937. Sedili River in Johore (June).-1939. Sepang, Selangor (June) in the coastal country; Fraser Hill (Dec.).-1946. A fortnight in the Cameron Highlands (Aug.); by car to the north of the Malay Peninsula (c. Oct.).



Herb. Sing. [SING], in the Singapore Field (S.F.) Number series.1 The collection of Mt Kinabalu (Br. N. Borneo) amounts to 300 ferns,3 mosses4 and other plants. Dupl. in Herb. Kuala Lump. [KEP]; Herb. Bog. [BO]: from Borneo and Sumatra, also other ones; Kew [K] (pres. 1923); Manila [PNH]: 95 nos (pres. 1935); U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US]: 114 dupl. Borneo and Mal. Pen., and some ferns.



(1) Data extracted from the Annual Reports of the Botanic Gardens, Singapore, and from Burkill in Gard. Bull. Str. Settlem. 4, 1927, nos 4-5, etc.

(2) R.E. Holttum: ‘The vegetation of Gunong Belumut in Johore’ (Gard. Bull. Str. Settlem. 1924, p. 245-257, 3 pl.).

(3) cf. Holttum & Christensen: ‘The ferns of Mt Kinabalu’ (Gard. Bull. Str. Settlem. 7, 1934 p. 191-324).

(4) cf. H.N. Dixon in Journ. Linn. Soc. Bo . Lond. 50, 1935, p. 57-140, pl. 1-4.

(5) Cf. Report in Fl. Mal. Bull. no 15, 1960, p. 743-746.


biographical data:

Gard. Chron. 103, 1938, p. 192, w. portr.; Amer. Fern J. 59, 1969, p. 1-3.