Biographical data


Blanco, Francisco Manuel (or Manoel)


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

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

(Source: Flora Malesiana ser. 1, 5: Cyclopaedia of collectors, Supplement I)

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


Born: 1778 or 1780, Navianos, Spain. Died: 1845, Manila, Luzon, P.I.



An Augustinian friar whose first station (1805) was at Angat, in the Prov. of Bulacan; as Curate he at various times occupied positions at San José, Bauan and Batangas, in the Prov. of Batangas, and at Pasig and Paranaque in the Prov. of Manila (now Rizal). In his last position as provincial delegate of the Augustinian order, his duties necessitated much travel in the Philippine Archipelago, taking him through the Prov. of Manila, Bulacan, Batangas, Pampanga, Pangasinan and Ambos Camarines in Luzon, and those of Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, and Cebu in the Visayas. He is the author of a flora of the Philippines.1

The genus Blancoa Blume and many plant species were named after him.



Herb. Madrid [MA]: 400 nos supposed by Colmeiro to have been collected by Blanco & Llanos,2 but according to Merrill today not even a tradition of a herbarium collected by them exists (Bull. Philip. Bur. Agr. no 4, 1903, p. 33-34). See also Addenda. The original collection in the monastery Notre Dame de Guadeloupe, Manila, was destroyed by fire.3 The actual collector of the concerning collection is not known. Merrill when identifying Blanco’s species had species, recorded by Blanco, collected anew. He distributed these ‘representative specimens’ as exsiccata among the principal world herbaria. These specimens belong to his book ‘Species Blancoanae’, of which the text on the concerning species is printed on the label. The plants were collected by employees of the Bureau of Science, mostly by Merrill, Fénix, and a much larger number by Ramos. The collection comprised 1060 nos in 16900 specimens, in Herb. Manila [PNH]. In Herb. Bog. [BO]: dupl. Plantae Blancoanae (pres. 1918); Field (= Nat. Hist.) Mus. Chicago [F]: cent. 1-10 Species Blancoanae (exch. Bur. of Sci. Manila); Herb. Leiden [L]; 29 dupl. in U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US]; etc.

In 1947 Dr Merrill found a specimen of Blanco’s from the Philippines of Ficus minahassae Teijsm. & Binn., which he had apparently sent to Blume, in the State Herbarium (Rijksherbarium) at Leiden [L] (private letter from Merrill, dated June 21, 1950, to Dr van Steenis). According to Dr E. Quisumbing no Blanco plants were found in Madrid during a short stay in 1953 (see ‘A Report on my trip’ 1954, p. 45).

When at Geneva [G], in April 1949, Dr  van Steenis found a sheet of Exacum albens Blanco (reduced by Merrill to E. chironioides Griseb.; possibly identical with E. tetragonum Roxb.); on the label is written: ‘Ins. Philippines, M. Blanco. 1853’ in the handwriting of Cas. Decandolle. It might have formed part of a collection presented by Llanos to the Herb. Decandolle.4



(1) ‘Flora de Filipinas según el sistema de Linneo’(Manila, 1837; ed. 2, 1845).

C. Fernandez-Villar revised the 3rd ed. of this flora (cf. Merrill in Philip. Journ. Sci. C. Bot. 12, 1917, p. 113-116): 1, 1877; 2, 1878-79; 3, 1879; 41, 1880; 42, 1880; 43, 1880-83; t. 1-473. The last part of this 3rd edition contains ‘Novissima Appendix ad Floram Philippinarum R.P. Fr. Emanuelis Blanco, seu enumeratio contracta plantarum philippinensium hucusque cognitarum. Cum synonymis P.P. Blanco, Llanos, Mercado et aliorum auctorum’ by the reviser of this edition in collaboration with A. Naves (cf. l.c. p. 1-375).

J.K. Hasskarl: ‘M. Blanco, Flora der Philippinen übersetzt and kritisch beleuchtet’ (Flora 47, 1864, p. 17-29, 49-59).

E.D. Merrill: ‘A review of the identifications of the species described in Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas’ (Govt Lab. Publ. Philip. 27, 1905, p. 1-132).

E. D. Merrill: ‘Additional identifications of the species described in Blanco’s Flora de Filipinas’ (Philip. Journ. of Sci. C. Bot. 2, 1907, p. 429-439).

E. D. Merrill: ‘On the identity of Blanco’s species of Bambusa’ (Amer. Journ. Bot. 3, 1916, p. 58-64).

E. D. Merrill: ‘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, map).

For the drawings of the 3rd ed. of the Flora, see Cl. Nissen, ‘Die botanische Buchillustration’ 1951, vol. 2, p. 16.

(2) cf. Colmeiro, Bosquejo Hist. Jard. Madrid, 1875, p. 88.

(3) U. Martelli: ‘Lettera sopra l’Erbario Blanco’ (Boll. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1902, p. 89). 

(4) C.G.G.J. ecandolle: ‘Collection of Philippine plants of M. Blanco at Geneva’ (Bull. Bot. Gard. Buit. ser. 3, vol. 18, 1950, p. 468).


biographical data:

Duchartre Revue Bot. 1846, p. 281-285; Colmeiro, Bot. Hisp., 1858, p. 204; portr. in Flora Filipin. ed. August. vol. 1 ; Bull. Bur. Agr. Manila no 4, 1903, p. 11; Journ. N. Y. Bot. Gard. 7, 1906, p. 107; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.