Collecting localities



Biographical data

Photo gallery


Merrill, Elmer Drew


(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: 1876, East Auburn, Maine, U.S.A. Died: 1956, at Forest Hills, Jamaica Plain, Mass., U.S.A.



From 1899-1902 Assistant Agrostologist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington; from 1902-23 at first Botanist, since 1919 Director of the Bureau of Science, Manila, Luzon (P.I.); 1924-29 Dean of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of California; in 1930 appointed second Director in Chief of the New York Botanical Garden, and in 1935 Director of the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Mass., Professor of Botany and Administrator of Botanical collections of Harvard University; at present retired.

Author of an enormous amount of papers on the flora of N. America, the Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo, the Moluccas, the Marianas, China, etc.1

The genus Elmerrillia Dandy, other genera, and many plant species were named in his honour.


Collecting localities:

 In 1902 he paid a visit to W. Java: Buitenzorg (Sept. 15-Nov. 13),2 but no collection was made; and to Labuan (collected).3-Philippines. In general all over the islands (1902-24). In Culion (Dec. 1902, Febr. 1903); Palawan (Febr. 1903); Isl. of Paragua (Febr. 1903); Masbate (Aug. 1903); Luzon: Prov. of Bataan, Pampanga, Rizal, Tarlac, Tayabas, Camarines Sur (c. 1903/04); Lamao Forest Reserve (June and Oct. 1903, Jan. 1904, March 1905);4 Mindoro: trips up the Baco River (1903 and 1905); Semeraru (June-July 1905); in Oct. 1906 visiting the islands Balut, Bucas, Cajoagan, Cagayan de Sulu, Lumbacan (near Balabac), Palmas (= Miangas), and Samar; Mindoro: Mt Halcon (Nov. 2-Dec. 2, 1906; Nov. 22 on the summit);5 Luzon: Mt Pulog (May 11-13, 1909);6 near Manila (1909-10); Negros: Ca(n)laon Volcano (Apr. 1910); Comiran (Sept. 1910); Cavil(l)i Isl. (Sept. 1911 or ? 1910); Mindanao (Nov.-Dec. 1911); Palawan (Apr. 7-June 7, 1913); evidently visiting W. Java, viz Tjibodas (slope G. Gedeh; Jan. 25, 1914) not collecting; Luzon: vicinity of Baguio (6 weeks in 1913 or ‘14) and vicinity of Manila; Taal Volcano (1916 and early part of 1917); and in 1918: Laguimanoc, Tayabas Prov., Mt Pinagtubo, Zambales Prov.; Palawan (Oct. 1922); and certainly elsewhere.

The locality ‘Separation’ or ‘Separation Point’, not found on atlases, is situated in E. Palawan at about one third of its length (from the south); it is a small cape in Island Bay.



Herb. Manila [PNH].7 Duplicates in Herb. Kew [K], Paris [P], Edinburgh [E], Berl. [B], Leiden [L], Utrecht [U], Groningen (300, purch. 1918) [now in L], Vienna [W], Lund [LD], U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US] (c. 4300), N.Y. Bot. Gard. [NY], Sing. [SING], Gray Herb. [GH]; Herb. Sydney [NSW]: 1215 nos (1906); Herb. Deless. (Geneva [G]): 1000 nos (1911/12), 1400 nos (acq. 1922/23), 73 nos (acq. 1933); Herb. Decand. (Geneva [G]); Herb. Frankfurt [FR]: ‘Plant. ins. Philip. Cent. 11-12 (purch. 1913); Herb. Calcutta [CAL], Brisbane [BRI], Melbourne [MEL], Tokio [TI], Leningrad [LE], Univ. Zürich [Z].

The collection of the Lamao Forest Res. amounts to 575 nos.4

He collected too for the ‘Species Blancoanae’ (see sub Blanco).



(1) Many papers cited under the collectors involved; the most important are: ‘A Flora of Manila’ (Bur. Sci. Publ. 5, 1912, p. 1-490); ‘An interpretation of Rumphius’ Herbarium Amboinense’ (Bur. Sci. Publ. 9, 1917, p. 1-595, w. map); ‘Alabastra borneensea’ (Journ. Str. Br. Roy. As. Soc. no 77, 1917, p. 189-247); ‘Species Blancoanae. A critical revision of the Philippine species of plants described by Blanco and by Llanos’ (Bur. Sci. Publ. 12, 1918, p. 1-423, w. map); ‘A bibliographic enumeration of Bornean plants’ (Journ. Str. Br. Roy. As. Soc. Spec. no 1921, 637 pp.); ‘An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants’ (Manila 1923-26, 4 vols); ‘A bibliography of Eastern-Asiatic Botany’ (1938; with E.H. Walker).

List of papers in Nat. & Appl. Sci. Bull. Philip. 1, 1931, p. 407-412.

(2) E.D. Merrill: ‘Report on investigations made in Java in the year 1902’ (Philip. Bur. For. Bull. 1, 1903, p. 1-84, pl. 1-10).

(3) cf. Merrill, Bibliogr. Enum. Born. Pl., 1921, p. 10.

(4) E.D. Merrill: ‘The flora of the Lamao Forest Reserve’ (Philip. Journ. Sci. 1, 1906, Suppl. p. 1-141).

(5) E.D. Merrill: ‘The ascent of Mt Halcon, Mindoro’ (l.c. sect. A. 2, 1907, p. 179-203, 1 pl.); ‘The flora of Mt Halcon, Mindoro’ (l.c. C. Bot. 2, 1907, p. 251-309).

E.B. Copeland: ‘Pteridophyta halconensia; a list of ferns and fern-allies collected by E.D. Merrill on Mt Halcon, Mindoro’ (l.c. C. Bot. 2, 1907, p. 119-150, pl. 1-4).

O. Ames: ‘Orchidaceae Halconenses’ (l.c. p. 311-337).

V.F. Brotherus: ‘Musci Halconenses’ (l.c. p. 339-343).

(6) E.D. Merrill & M.L. MEerritt: ‘The flora of Mt Pulog’ (l.c. C. Bot 5, 1910, p. 287-401, pl. 1-4, map).

(7) Besides the above-mentioned papers, cf. also J. Perkins in Fragm. Flor. Philip. 1904, p. 4-66, 77-202; and A. Kneucker: ‘Bemerkungen zu den Cyperaceae (exclus. Carices) et Juncaceae exsiccatae 8. u. 9. Lief.’ (Allg. Bot. Zeitschr. 17, 1911, Beil. no 48, p. 1-12).


biographical data:

Journ. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 31, 1930, p. 6-10, w. portr.; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Chron. Bot. 2, 1936, p. 328 + portr.; ‘Merrilleana’ in l.c. 10, 1946; Fl. Mal. Bull. no 1, 1947, p. 30; Kew Bull. 1947, p. 38; Asa Gray Bull. n.s. 2, 1953, p. 335-370, photos; Jaarb. Kon. Ned. Ak. Wet. A’dam 1955-56, p. 1-7; Nature 111, 1956, p. 687-688; J. Arn. Arb. 37, 1956, p. 197-216, portr., completed bibliogr.; Taxon 5, 1956, p. 21; Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. 168, 1951, p. 51-56; J. Wash. Ac. Sc. 46, 1956, p. 267-268; Philip. J. Sc. 85, 1956, p. 181-188, portr.; Bull. Nat. Res. Counc. Philip. no 41, 1957, p. 4-5; Taxon 6, 1957, p. 89-101, portr.; Biogr. Mem. Nat. Ac. Sc. U.S. 32, 1958, p. 273-333, portr., chronol. bibliogr.; Dedication in Fl. Mal. 1, 6, 1972, p. (7)-(16), portr.


photo gallery:

c. 1900-1905