Collecting localities



Biographical data


Kärnbach, Ludwig


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


Born: 1864, Kicin, NE of Posen, Germany. 

Died: Dec. 1, 1896, or Febr. 1, 1897, at sea between the Schouten Islands and Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen.



Since 1885 in the Botanic Garden and student at the Botanical Museum, Berlin, accompanied O. Kuntze to Turkestan (1886) and entered the service of the German New Guinea Company in April 1887; successively at various stations, at the outset at Butauèng; in Dec. 1891, after the discontinuation of Finschhafen Station, he returned to Berlin. In the employ of the East African Plantation Company he travelled to Sumatra and Borneo for the recruiting of coolies for Africa in 1892. In 1893 he was back in the ‘Schutzgebiet’ again, making one more voyage to Borneo, this time for the study of gutta-percha tapping. In July 1894 he quitted the service of the New Guinea Company and settled at Seleo (in Berlin-Hafen), starting a coconut plantation; he made several commercial tours on which botanical and ethnological collections were made.1

Oberonia kaernbachia Kränzl. and other plants were named after him.


Collecting localities:

NE. New Guinea, former Kaiser-Wilhelmsland. 1887. Butauèng Station, from where making excursions into the interior; ascending the Lugaueng Mts (300 m alt.) (Dec.).2-1888. Kelana Station, from where exploring the Purdy Islands (Sept.-Dec.).-1889. Butauèng Station.-1890. In the ‘Ottilie’ (March) making a tour to the N. coast of the Huon Gulf in company with Winter. Gogol Expedition with Lauterbach (itiner., liter., etc. see there) (Sept.-Dec.).-1891. Finschhafen Station. Probably in the same year sailing from Butaueng to Huon Gulf: Mègim Isl., Tigedu, Oli Gedu, Taminu Gedu, Bugemgin, Bukaua; mouth of the Adler River (Bu Su), ascending the same to Lugamo, Lake Herzog; Samoa Hafen and back via Bukaua and Tigedu to Butauèng.3-1892. Visiting Sumatra and Borneo (see above); probably no collections were made.-1893. NE. New Guinea. Making tours by boat for the recruiting of coolies, partly to unknown regions, viz to the Le Maire Islands (May 21-28).4 2nd Tour (June 20-30): Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen, Finschhafen, N. coast Huon Gulf; landing near Oli Gedu at the W. side of Hänisch-Hafen, from where on foot to Taminu Gedu near Cape Gerhard; Bugemgin (Bukaua Distr.).5 3rd Tour with R. Parkinson (July 12-20) via Le Maire Islands to Dallmann-Hafen; coastal villages Buut, Kafu and Soein; Juo Isl. (Guap), Berlin-Hafen, Seleo (Saliú), Sainson Isl., Sanssouci Isl. (Angél), Matty Isl. (Wuvulu). By boat to the NE. coast (Aug.-Sept.) and ditto to the W. coast of Neu Mecklenburg (= New Ireland) (Dec.).6-1894. First half of the year in Borneo, to study the gathering of gutta-percha. NE. New Guinea: in July settling at Seleo (Berlin-Hafen); in the cutter ‘Dora’ making numerous tours.-1895. In Jan. sailing into the Langemak-Bucht near Finschhafen, from where making a fortnight-trip to the Sattelberg, for the first time discovering large quantities of gutta-percha trees in Kaiser-Wilhemsland.7 -He died on a boat tour to the Le Maire Islands (Febr. 1, 1897;8 elsewhere it is stated to have been on Dec. 1, 1896) (cf. sub Biogr. data).



Herb. Berl. [B]: 76 New Guinea siphonogams (pres. 1887-91, 1893-95)9 and many cryptogams (138 Algae, 80 Fungi, 141 Musci, 120 Hepaticae);10 samples and herbarium specimens of rubber and gutta-percha from New Guinea.11 Also 49 nos + samples from Borneo and New Guinea in the Show Mus. Berlin. Herb. Kew [K]: 25 New Guinea nos (pres. 1894); Herb. Hamburg [HBG]: 11 New Guinea Fungi; Herb. Bot. Gard. St Petersb. (Leningrad [LE]): 20 N.G. Hepaticae.



(1) L. Kärnbach: ‘Ueber die Nutzpflanzen der Eingeborenen in Kaiser Wilhelmsland’ (Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 16, 1893, Beibl. 37, p. 10-19); ‘Die bisherige Erforschung von Kaiser-Wilhelmsland and der Nutzen der Anlage einer Forschungs Station’ (Berlin 1893).

(2) L. Kärnbach: ‘Eine botanische Weihnachtsexkursion in Neu-Guinea’ (Gartenflora 42, 1893, p. 4-7).

(3) L. Kärnbach: ‘Fine Bootsfahrt durch den Huongolf in Kaiser Wilhelms-Land’ (Deutsche Kolon. Zeit. 10, 1893, p. 170-173).

(4) cf. Nachr. Kais. Wilh. Land 9, 1893, p. 27-29, 43-45.

(5) cf. Peterm. Mitt. 41, 1895, p. 170.

(6) cf. Nachr. Kais. Wilh. Land 9, 1893, p. 42-45.

(7) cf. Notizbl. Berl. Dahl. 1895, p. 101-103.

(8) cf. Nachr. Kais. Wilh. Land 13, 1897, p. 23.

(9) F. Kränzlin described many of his orchids (cf. Gartenflora 43, 1894, p. 115, and Oesterr. Bot. Zeitschr. 44, 1894, p. 163).Other plants by Schumann & Lauterbach in ‘Flora d. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. i.d. Südsee’ (Leipzig 1901), and in ‘Nachträge zur Flora etc. (Leipzig 1905).

(10) Algae by Grunow in Schumann, Flora von Kaiser Wilhelmsland, 1889.

Fungi by P. Hennings in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 15, 1893, Beibl. 33, p. 4-8; l.c. 18, 1894, Beibl. 44, p. 22-40; l.c. 25, 1898, p. 495-509.

Hepaticae by F. Stephani in Hedwigia 33, 1894, p. 152-153.

(11) A. Engler: ‘Ueber einige Guttapercha-Baüme von Kaiser-Wilhelmsland’ (Notizbl. Berl. Dahl. 1, 1895/97, p. 101-103).


biographical data:

Verh. Bot. Ver. Brandenburg 39, 1897, p. lix-lxi (the mentioned date of death is Dec. 1, 1896); Nachtr. z. Flora d. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. i.d. Südsee Heft 1, 1905, p. 20-21; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.