Collecting localities



Biographical data


Zip(p)elius, Alexander


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

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


Born: 1797, Würzburg, Germany. Died: Dec. 31, 1828, Koepang, Timor.



Horticulturist, since 1823 Assistant Curator of the Buitenzorg Botanic Gardens. In 1826 he wrote a second catalogue of the latter garden1 (the first one being published by Blume, see there), which evidently was never published. In 1827 he joined the ‘Natuurkundige Commissie’ (Commission for Natural Sciences), and in the next year took part in the New Guinea voyage of that Commission, from which he was never to return to Java.

He is commemorated in the genus Zippelia Blume, and in several plant species.


Collecting localities:

1823-28. Java, at least from the following localities in W. Java: Buitenzorg Bot. Gardens, Djasinga, G. Tangkoeban Prahoe, G. Salak, G. Gedeh, and Megamendoeng.-Voyage in the corvette ‘Triton’ and in the ‘Iris’, 1828.2 Scientific leader: H.C. Macklot; other members: G. van Raalten, P. van Oort and S. Müller. SW. Celebes: Makassar (leaving March l5); short call at Bonthain (18); short visit to P. Boeton (= Boetoeng) (22), and an uninhabited islet in Boeton Straits (25); passing Boeton Straits; Moluccas, Ambon (March 29-Apr. 21): Batoe Lobang in the Soja Mts; Banda (Apr. 25-28), time failing to climb G. Api; Dutch S. and SW. New Guinea: mouth of the supposed Dourga River (in 1835 it became evident that this river in reality was Prinses Marianne Strait between Frederik Hendrik Island and the mainland of New Guinea) (May 21), ascending the latter till May 26, occasionally going ashore; heading round the north; kp. Oeta on the Oetanata(June 12), exploring the vicinity (-22); anchoring on the N. shore of P. Aidoema (June 28-July 2; Zipelius mentions2 collecting plants on P. Namatote, W of Triton Bay, and near Lobo in Triton Bay); in sloops (June 30) to Warangara on the eastern shore of Oeroe-Langoeroe Bay (on this occasion naming it Triton Bay); Triton Bay (July 4-Aug. 28); foot of the Lamantsjieri (Aug. 29); W. bank Timbona River; leaving the bight of Merkus-oord (31); Ambon (Sept. 5-Oct. 7); Timor: Koepang (Oct. 14), where the members of the ‘Natuurkundige Commissie’ disembarked. Till his death Zipelius collected in the environs of Koepang; for data on trips of the other members cf. sub S. Müller.



Herb. Leiden [L]: plants (phanerogams and cryptogams) from Java, New Guinea, Timor, etc. (cf. also sub G.J.A. Kollmann). Dupl. partly in Herb. Utrecht [U], and Herb. Bog. [BO] (incl. ferns from Megamendoeng, W. Java, + MS.); also dupl. in Herb. Berl. [B]; Herb. Deless. (Geneva [G]): Timor plants;3 Herb. Martius (= Brussels [BR]).

The New Guinea material consists of bad specimens; it was partly elaborated.4

Hooker5 cites a plant collected by Zipelius in Malacca, but it seems doubtful whether this record is correct.

His manuscripts and drawings, pertaining to the flora of New Guinea, Timor, Banda, Amber, Celebes, etc., together with the descriptions of some hundreds of plants from there, later came into the possession of the medical officer P. Bleeker (bought from the personal estate of Schwaner, see there), who presented them to the ‘Natuurkundige Vereeniging’ (Natural Science Society) at Batavia. In about 1852 an agreement was made with Blume to send everything to Leiden, where it was to be published. As some time elapsed and nothing was heard of anymore, the ‘Natuurkundige Vereeniging’ sent some letters, and when no reply was received in due time, decided to make a close investigation.6 Later the matter was left at that, as the secretary of the society made it plausible that Zipelius's scientific inheritance would be published. As a matter of fact nothing came of it, though Blume provided S. Müller with a number of data on the flora of New Guinea, which Müller used for his book.2

Zipelius made excellent descriptions of the plants in their natural habitat; preserved in the archives of the Leiden Herbarium.



(1) cf. Jaarb. Kon. Ned. Mij Tuinb. 1844, p. 52; MS. in Herb. Leiden.

(2) Letters from Zip(p)elius to C.L. Blume on ‘Vondsten in Nieuw Guinee’ (finds in New Guinea) in Alg. Konst- en Letterbode 18291, p. 294-298, and in Flora 121, 1829, p. 281-287.

J. Modera: ‘Verhaal van een reize naar en langs de zuid-westkust van Nieuw-Guinea gedaan in 1828, door Z.M. Corvet Triton, en Z.M. Coloniale schoener de Iris’ (Haarlem 1830).

cf. sub H.Chr. Macklot, Lit. 2; and Alg. Konst- en Letterbode 18292, p. 211.

S. Müller: ‘Reizen in den Indischen Archipel’ (Amsterdam 1857, 2 vols in the series ‘Werken van het Kon. Inst. v. Taal-, Land- en Volkenk. v. N.I.’). Müller made some botanical and agricultural remarks, and described the vegetation of New Guinea after Zipelius’s notes, and statements of Blume; cf. also in Temminck, Verhandelingen (1839-44), vol. Land en Volkenkunde, p. 1-80.

(3) cf. H.O. Forbes, Wanderings etc., 1885, p. 497.

(4) A list of plants (p. 177-181) in Chr. Macklot: ‘Verslag van het land en de bewoners, etc. van eenige plaatsen op de kust van Nieuw Guinee’ (van Hall, Bijdr. t. d. Natuurk. Wet. 5, 1830, p. 142-182).

In C.L. Blume, ‘Rumphia’; Miquel, ‘Flora India Batavae’ and in Ann. Mus. Lugd. Bat. (Annonaceae in l.c. 2, 1865, p. 1-45); by Warburg in his monograph on the Myristicaceae; in Nova Guinea vol. 8.

(5) Rhynchoglossum obliquum Blume in ‘Flora Br. India’ 4, 1885, p. 367.

(6) cf. Nat. Tijdschr. N.I. 11, 1856, p. 468; l.c. 16, 1858/59, p. 362-364, and l.c. 20, 1859/60, p. 128 and 138-139.


biographical data:

Encyclop. N.I. 4, 1921; Backer, Verkl. Woordenb., 1936; Bull. Bot. Gard. Buit. ser. 3, vol. 18, 1950, p. 470-471.