Biographical data


Kamel, George Joseph (= Georgius Josephus Camel or Camellus) 


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

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


Born: 1661, Brünn, Moravia, Austria. Died: 1706, Manila, Luzon, P.I.



Jesuit priest in the Marianas (1683), later (1688) in the Philippines. He had some knowledge of pharmacy and opened a drug-store at Manila. He was interested in botany and sent dried plants, and figures of plants, to Europe.

The genus Camellia L. was probably named after him.



Herb. Brit. Mus. [BM] (Herb. Sloane vols 153, 231 and 233, mixed up with plants collected by others, e.g. Landon, Plumier, etc.); originally sent to Petiver and Ray, the first consignment dated Aug. 31, 1699.1

MSS and drawings are preserved in the Brit. Museum; 260 unpublished drawings at Jesuit’s College, Louvain (Belgium).2

He made geological collections too.

Some of his drawings are in L’Institut de France, Paris.



(1) cf. Petiver in Mus. Petiv. 1695, p. 44; l.c. 1702, p. 63; l.c. 1703, p. 94.

‘De Faba S. Ignatii excerpta quaedam ex epistola P. Camelli ad J. Rayam & J. Petiverum’ exhibita in Actis Angelicanis Societatis Regiae, A. 1699, p. 87, seqq. Act. Erudit. Lips. 1700, p. 552-554, t. 10 (non vidi).

cf. also Philos. Transact. 21, 1699, p. 2-4 and 88-94.

G.J. Camellus: ‘Herbarium aliarumque stirpium in insula Luzone Philippinarum primaria nascentium observatarum & descriptarum syllabus’ (Appendix to Ray, Hist. Plant. 3, 1704, p. 1-42); ‘Descriptiones fruticum & arborum Luzonis’ (in l.c. p. 43-95).

J. Petiver published figures of a number of Philippine plants based either on drawings or specimens sent to him by father Kamel, in ‘Gazophylacii naturae & artis’ (1702-09).

‘Tractatus de plantis Philippinensibus scandentibus, ad Jacobum Petiver, S.R.S. missus’ (Philos. Transact. 24, 1704-05, 1707-22, 1763-73, 1809-09 bis, 1816-42).

(2) A volume containing Kamel’s figures and manuscript descriptions of the collection (above-mentioned vols in Herb. Sloane), Bibl. Sloane 5288, was transferred to the Dept of Botany from that of MSS, in 1884. Other descriptions by Kamel form Sloane MSS 4078 and 4081.

‘Herbarium aliarumque stirpium in insula Luzone Philippinarum primaria nascentium icones ab auctore delineatae ineditae’, of which a syllabus in Ray, Hist. Plant., vol. 3 (cf. liter. sub 1), 260 tab.


biographical data:

Haller, Bibl. BOY. 2, 1772, p. 46; Sprengel, Hist. Rei Herbar. 2, 1808, p. 94-95; Bretschneider, Hist. Bot. Discov. China, 1898, p. 15; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Veröff. Int. Ges. Gesch. Pharm. 4, 1954, p. 1-123, 14 tab.