Collecting localities



Biographical data


Williams, Robert Statham


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

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


Born: 1859, Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.A. Died: 1945, Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.A.



Was employed in the mines of Montana from 1879-98, in Alaska from 1898-99; since 1899 on the staff (Museum Aid) of the New York Botanical Garden. During his first ten years at this institution, he was sent on several extended collecting trips, viz to Bolivia (1901-03), the Philippine Islands (1903-05, see below), and to Panama (1908). He was sent to Manila by the board of Managers of that institution in September 1903, to make collections in co-operation with the Insular Bureaus of Agriculture and Forestry, in order to make a commencement of botanical exploration of the Philippine Archipelago.1 After his return from Panama he was Assistant Curator of the Garden; from 1910-32 Administrative Assistant, and thereafter Research Associate in Bryology.

His early interest was in birds, but he later specialized in the study of mosses, and was a regular contributor to ‘The Bryologist’.

A number of plants were named after him.


Collecting localities:

Philippines, Nov. 1903-Aug. 1905. After his arrival in Luzon: Manila (early in Nov. 1903), he at once commenced making collections at: Mt Santo Tomas (Nov. 1904), Prov. of Benguet, Baguio, Mt Mariveles, Lamao River,2 Los Baños, Mt Maquiling, Benguet (= Bangued), etc.; in 1905 he collected in Mindanao: Prov. of Zamboanga (Febr.), Mt Apo (at and above Todaya) (March), in Sax River region at San Remon, etc. (Febr.-March); Prov. of Davao (May-July); and in Jolo (July), Sulu Islands.



Herb. N.Y. Bot. Gard. [NY]: 3126 nos from the Philippines (incl. ferns, mosses and lichens, excl. Fungi and seaweeds), representing 10.000 to 12.000 specimens (c. 2000 cryptog.). Dupl. in: U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US]: 519 Philip. ferns; Gray Herb. [GH]; Herb. Univ. of Michigan [MICH]; Herb. Kew [K] (pres. 1906/08); Manila [PNH]: 1721 nos (pres. 1907/08 and 1914); Herb. Leiden [L]; Herb. Berlin [B]: mosses (pres. 1928/29); also dupl. in Herb. Edinb. [E] (1905).

The collection was partly elaborated.3 Williams made collections in America too.



(1) cf. Journ. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 5, 1904, p. 40-41.

(2) R.S. Williams: ‘Notes on Lamao forest reserve, Lamao, Bataan Prov., P.I.’ (Report of the Chief of the Bur. of Forestry for 1903/04, p. 37 seq.).

(3) R.S. Williams: ‘Notes on Luzon mosses’ (Bryologist 8, 1905, p. 78-80); ‘Philippine mosses’ (Journ. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 15, 1914, p. 12-14; Bull. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 8, 1914, p. 331-377, pl. 171-174).

C.B. Robinson: ‘Alabastra philippinensia’ I-II (Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 35, 1908. p. 63-75; Philip. Journ. Sci. C. Bot. 3, 1908, p. 175-218).

Orchidaceae by O. Ames in ‘Studies in the orchid flora of the Philippines’ (Orchidaceae fast. 2, 1908, p. 17-257).

E.B. Copeland: ‘Philippine ferns collected by R.S. Williams’ (Brittonia 1, 1931, p. 67-70, 3 pl., 1 fig.).


biographical data:

Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936 (also sub Addenda); Journ. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 46, 1945, p. 146-147.