Collecting localities



Biographical data


Donati, Vitaliano


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

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


Born: 1717, Padua, Italy. Died: Febr. 26, 1762, on the coast of Malabar, Indian Ocean.



Professor and Director Bot. Garden at Turin, 1749-62. He was instructed by Karel Emanuel III of Sardinia to make a voyage to the Orient, to collect material for a planned Natural History Museum. In Alexandria he fell in love with a girl who urged him to take her brother as a travel companion. Evidently the latter was no good and stole his money and at least part of his collections. After a shipwreck Donati fell ill and subsequently died.

He is the author of ‘Della storia naturale marina dell’ adriatico’ (Venezia 1750).

The genera Donatia Forst. and Vitaliana Sesler were named in his honour.


Collecting localities:

In 1759 he successively visited Egypt, Sinai, Palestine, Arabia, and embarked at Maskat for India. In c. 1760 he stayed at Batavia, Java.1 He evidently visited G. Parang in Krawang (W. Java); a permit to travel through the territory of the E.I. Company is dated Oct. 16, 1759.2



Mainly collected in Egypt and the Near East; for the greater part pulverized, a small part still recognizable, but without labels and precise indication; with Herb. Balbis in Herb. Turin [TO].3 Part of his stolen collections fell into the hands of Linnaeus, maybe only from the first part of the voyage.4 Lasègue5 mentions, that Linnaeus received Arabian plants from Bassi and Donati, ‘qui lui furent remises après la mort de Forskal’.



(1) cf. Hageman in Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 31, 1870, p. 192.

(2) cf. l.c. p. 198; and J.A. v.d. Chijs, Ned. Ind. Plakkaatboek 7, 1890, p. 348-349.

(3) cf. List by Bonino in ‘Bibliografia medica piemontese’ 2, p. 171 (non vidi).

(4) cf. further particulars in Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936, copied from ‘Bref och skrifvelser of och till Carl von Linne’ (ed. by Upsala Univers., Första afd.) vol. 2, p. 264, ann. 3.

(5) in Mus. But. Deless., 1845, p. 358-359.


biographical data:

By G. Gennari (Padova 1839) (non vidi); Pritzel, Thes. Lit. Bot., 1872; Mattirolo, Cron. Orto Bet. Torino 1929, p. xxxvii-xxxix + portr.; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936.