Biographical data


Pickering, Charles


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


Born: 1805, Starucca Creek, N. Pennsylvania, U.S.A.. Died: 1878, Boston, Mass., U.S.A.



Studied medicine and took his degree at Harvard, Medical School in 1826. In 1827 he settled at Philadelphia, artd served on the botanical and zoological committees of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, holding the offices of Librarian (1828-33) and Curator (1833-37). He was associated with William Oakes in botanical exploration; principal zoologist of the Wilkes U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-42), but also collecting plants with Rich and Brackenridge.1 A year after the return of the expedition, he crossed the Atlantic, visited Egypt. Arabia, E. Africa, western and northern India, at his own expense.

Author of several papers.2

Maesa pickeringii A.Gray and other plants were named after him.



For Itinerary, Collections, and concerning literature, cf. sub Wilkes.



(1) cf. Merrill In ‘A discussion and bibliography of Philip. Fl. Plants’ (in Enum. Philip. Fl. Pl. vol. 4, 1926) p. 49.

(2) Ch. Pickering: ‘On plants and animals in their wild state’ (1854); ‘The races of Man, and their geographical distribution’ (Vol. 9 of Wilkes U.S. Expl. Exp., 1848); ‘The geographical distribution of animals and plants’ (1863-76, 2 vols (the 2nd not completed) + 4 maps form the unofficial issue of vol. 19 of Wilkes U.S. Expl. Exp.); ‘Chronological history of plants’ (Boston 1879).


biographical data:

Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts & Sci. 13, 1878, p. 414; A. Gray, Scientif. Papers, 2, 1889, p. 406-410; J.W. Harshberger, The botanists of Philadelphia, 1899, p. 190-193.