Collecting localities



Biographical data


Riedel, Johann Gerard Friedrich


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

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


Born: 1832, Tondano, Minahassa, N. Celebes. Died: 1911, Batavia, Java.



Son of a missionary in the Minahassa; after finishing his education in Europe, he started his career as officer in the D.E. Indian Civil Service in 1853; at first District Officer in the Minahassa and since 1864 Assistant Resident of Gorontalo, both in N. Celebes; for some time stationed in Billiton (1875-78) and subsequently promoted Resident of Timor and Dependencies (1878-80); in 1880 appointed Resident of Ambon and pensioned off in 1883.

Though he is reputed to have done valuable work as a civil servant, the judgment of scientists is far less favourable. Wichmann considered him a congenial of A.B. Meyer (see there) whom he held in contempt.1 Forbes recorded that Riedel, when a Resident of Ambon, was little inclined to be helpful, reason why F. cancelled his voyage to the Moluccas.

He is the author of many ethnological papers, mainly dealing with Celebes; one of them lead to him being awarded the honorary Dr’s degree at Leipsic.2

He is commemorated in the genus Riedelia Oliv. and in several plant species.


Collecting localities:

Between 1853-75. N. Celebes, Minahassa: Tondano (May 1871), G. Sapoetan (4000 ft) (June 1871);3 Gorontalo (June 1875); Manado.-1876. Billiton and ? Banka-187.-79. Timor. Apparently he made a trip into the interior to near the boundary of Portuguese Timor.-1880-84. Moluccas & Lesser Sunda Islands. In Nov. 1880 trip to the Watoebela, Kei (= Kai), Aroe and Tanimbar (or Timor-laoet) Islands, also visiting Babar Sermata, Loe(w)ang, Leti, Kiser (= Kisar), Wetter (= Wetar), Roma(ng), Damar, etc.4 Besides, he visited Boeroe; Leti Islands (Aug. 1883; P. Leti, P. Moa and P. Lakor); P. Damar, Babar and Wetar; Tanimbar Islands (= Timor-laoet) (June 1884): P. Larat and P. Maroe.

According to Backer he collected in Borneo too, but this seems doubtful.



The main set probably at Dresden [DR], at least many duplicates were distributed from there by Dr A.B. Meyer. The collection amounts to more than 5900 nos, for a large part brought together by native collectors; also several without number. Duplicates in Herb. Kew [K]: 3 to 400 species from Celebes,5 a small number from Timor & Dependencies (pres. 1879),6 from Timor-laoet (= Tanimbar),7 40 from Boeroe,8 etc.; Herb. Berl. [B]: 80 nos from Celebes (pres. 1876)9 and mosses from the same island (pres. 1864); Herb. Vienna [W]: 308 nos from Celebes; Herb. Leiden [L]; Herb. Utrecht [U]; Herb. Bog. [BO], some numbered in the H.B. series (1872-74); Herb. Munich [M]. He forwarded Billiton plants to Beccari10 (=Florence [FI]). Herb. Leningrad [LE]: Celebes plants (1869).

In 1872 he presented 13 plants from Gorontalo (N. Celebes) to Hort. Bog.



(1) cf. A. Wichmann:’ De Heer Riedel en de meren van Noord- en Centraal-Celebes’ (Ind. Gids 182, 1896, p. 1410-1427).

(2) J.G.F. Riedel: ‘De sluik- en kroesharige rassen tusschen Selebes en Papua’ (’s-Gravenhage 1886).

Many of his papers were published in Tijdschr. Ind. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk., Tijdschr. Ned. Ind., and Tijdschr. K.N.A.G.

(3) cf. Kuhn in Verb. k.k. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien 1875, p. 593-602.

(4) cf. Tijdschr. K.N.A.G. 5 (Mededeelingen etc.), 1881, p. 71-72.

(5) D. Oliver: ‘Note on a collection of North-Celebes plants made by Mr. Riedel of Gorontalo’ (Journ. Linn. Soc. Bot. 15, 1877, p. 97-100).

(6) cf. Forbes, Wanderings etc., 1885, p. 498.

(7) cf. List in Forbe, Wanderings etc., 1885, p. 354-355.

(8) Some plants from there were published in Hook. Icon. Plant., e.g. the new genera Riedelia and Petraeovitex (1883).

Hemsley included his plants from the southern Moluccas in his ‘Report of the Challenger’ (cf. sub Moseley).

(9) Published by Warburg in Monsunia (1900).

(10) cf. Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 2, 1903, p. 203.


biographical data:

Weekbl. v. Ind. 1911-12, p. 963; Ind. Gids 19121, p. 396; Encyclop. N.I. 3, 1919; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.