Collecting localities



Biographical data


Rock, Joseph Francis Charles


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

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


Born: 1884, Vienna, Austria. Died: 1962, Honolulu, Hawaii.



Was trained for mission work; reached the Hawaiian Islands about 1907; Professor of Systematic Botany and Chinese, College of Hawaii.1 He was commissioned by the director of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Experiment Station to proceed to Java and Burma for the purpose of collecting seeds, in quantity, of the most promising forest trees occurring on NIL Gedeh in West Java, and in Burma of Taraktogenos kurzii King. It was his second visit to Java, as in 1916 he worked for some time at the Buitenzorg Herbarium.2 In 1920 collaborator Bureau of Plant Industry and subsequently of the National Geographic Society, Washington; in 1924 Botanical explorer, Arnold Arboretum (Harvard Univers.), and Collaborator of Plant Industry, U.S. Dept of Agr., Jamaica Plain, Mass. (U.S.A.); in 1928 under the auspices of the Nat. Geogr. Soc. Washington once more. Lived for many years in China, and finally returned to Hawaii. He received numerous awards, including an honorary Dr.Sc.’s degree of the University of Hawaii.

Asplenium rocki C.Chr. was named after him.


Collecting localities:

1916. Philippines, Java, and Singapore.-1919. W. Java: Botanic Gardens at Buitenzorg; Tjibodas and Mt Gedeh (Aug. 15-21).3-From 1920 onwards he collected in N. Siam, Burma, Yunnan, China, Tibet; also in Siam (Thailand) and Malaya.



He collected seeds of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants which together make up the plant communities of Mt Gedeh. Including the seeds collected in the Gardens at Buitenzorg, he had over 350 species represented in his collection, of which 287 reached Hawaii in good condition. A collection from Malacca (wrong statement ?) is reported to be in U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US]. His Hawaiian plants in Herb. Hawaii [BISH], dupl. in GRAY Herb. [GH]. The ferns collected in the years 1920-24 in U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. [US] (1 Java plant!), incl. cotypes; the type specimens + dupl. set in Herb. Copenhagen [C].4 His China collections 1924 and following years at Washington [US] too and in Herb. Arn. Arbor. [A].



(1) Author of ‘The ornamental trees of Hawaii’ (1917).

(2) cf. Verkl. Pl. Tuin Buitenzorg for 1916, p. 4.

(3) J.F. Rock: ‘The forest of Mt. Gedeh, West Java, a report on a collecting trip’ (Hawaiian Planter’s Record 22, 1920, p. 67-104, ill.).

(4) C. Christensen: ‘Asiatic pteridophyta collected by J.F. Rock 1920-24’ (Contrib. U.S. Nat. Herb. Wash. 26, 1931, p. 265-337, 29 pl.).


biographical data:

Journ. Arn. Arbor. 6, 1915, p. 213-214, note; Amer. Men of Sci.; Who’s who in America; Cox, Plant-hunting in China, 1945, p. 195-202 (mostly on China trips; initials wrong!); Newsletter Haw. Bot. Soc. 2, 1963, p. 1-13, w. bibliogr.; Taxon 12, 1963, p. 89-102, portr., bibliogr.