Collecting localities



Biographical data

Photo gallery


Osbeck, Pehr


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

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

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


Born: 1723, Oset, Sweden. Died: 1805, Hasslöf near Göteborg, Sweden.



Clergyman who was educated at Uppsala; he attended the lectures of Linnaeus. Chaplain on a voyage of the Swedish East India Company (see below). He made collections of plants and animals. Later preacher at Hasslöf. In 1758 appointed member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He is commemorated in the genus Osbeckia L. and in several other plant names.


Collecting localities:

Voyage in the ‘Prince Carl', 1750-52.1 Sailing from Sweden (Nov. 18, 1750) via Spain, the Canaries, Cape of Good Hope, islands of St Paul and Amsterdam, to W. Java: Anjar (July 15-17, 1751), on the outward voyage the ship skirted the S. coast of Java from East to West;4 China; sailing from there (Jan. 4, 1752); Sunda Strait, anchoring in Meeuwenbaai (Neuen Bay or New Bay) (Jan. 19, going ashore) and visiting Meeuwen Isl. (Nieu or New Isl.) (20) and Prinsen Isl. (21); via Madagascar, Cape of Good Hope, etc., back to Sweden (arriving June 26).



Herb. State Mus. Stockholm [S]. Duplicates with Herb. Linnaeus in Herb. Linn. Soc. Lond. [LINN] (plants marked with ‘O’ or with the name in full).2and 5 In total he collected about 600 species from China, Java, etc.3 Also in Herb. Retzius (= Lund [LD]), and in Herb. Bergius (= Acad. Stockholm [S]).



(1) P. Osbeck: ‘Dagbok öfwer en Ostindisk resa, etc. (Stockholm 1757). Translated: ‘Reise Bath Ostindien and China’ (Rostock 1765); ‘Voyage aux Indes Orientales’ (Rostock 1765); ‘Journal of a voyage to the East Indies, 1750-52, with observations on the natural history, etc.’ (London 1771).

(2) cf. Lasègue, Mus. Bot. Deless., 1845, p. 357.

(3) cf. Lists of collected plants and animals in Osbeck’s diary (l.c. sub 1).

E.D. Merrill: ‘Osbeck’s Dagbok öfwer en Ostindisk resa’ (Amer. Journ. Bot. 3, 1916, p. 571-588; containing a list of nomina nuda and besides a list of species described by Osbeck, which were overlooked by most botanists.

Linnaeus in his ‘Species Plantarum’ (1753) based many new species on type specimens of Osbeck; cf. also in ‘Amoenitates Acad.’ 4, 1759, p. 261-332.

Evidently Houttuyn also had plants of Osbeck at his disposition, cf. introduction of the ‘Handleiding tot de plant- en kruidkunde’(new edit. 1773).

(4) Cf. Rob.E. Fries in Svensk. Linné-Sällskap. Årsskr. 33-34, 1950-51, p. 33 and map.

(5) C. Hansen & A. Fox Maule: ‘Pehr Osbeck’s collections and Linnaeus’s Species Plantarum (1753)’ (Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 67, 1973, p. 189-212, 6 pl., 1 fig.).


biographical data:

Wickström, Consp. Lit. Bot. Suec., 1831, p. 208; Bretschneider, Hist. Bot. Discov. China, 1898, p. 58-60; Krok, Bibl. Bot. Suecana, 1925, p. 565-566; Svensk. Linné-Sällskap. Årsskr. 11, 1928, p. 173 (on sepulchral monument); Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; G. & Bo Petterson: ‘En Reseberättelse av Prosten Pehr Osbeck är 1776’ (in Årsb. Varbergs Museum 1967, 22 pp., portr. and summary).


photo gallery:

Varbergs Museum årsbok (1967) 3