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Biographical entry Black, John McConnell (1855 - 1951)

28 April 1855
Wigtown, Scotland
2 December 1951
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Botanical collector and Botanist


John Black, originally a journalist and linguist who investigated Aboriginal languages, turned to botany in the early 1900s and published The Naturalised Flora of South Australia (1909) and Flora of South Australia (1922-1929; 2nd edition 1943-1948).


Born Wigtown, Scotland, 28 April 1855. Died Adelaide, 2 December 1951. MBE 1942. British Linen Co. Bank, Edinburgh; Oriental Bank, London; migrated to South Australia 1877; wheat farmer, Baroota, South Australia 1878-83; staff of the "South Australian Register"; senior reporter and editorialist, the "Advertiser" till 1903; Hansard reporter on a sessional basis until 1929; concentrated on botany from 1903; wrote "The Naturalised Flora of South Australia' (1909) and "The Flora of South Australia", published in four parts in 1922-29and revised 1939-51; honorary lecturer in systematic botany, University of Adelaide 1927. Verco Medal, Royal Society of South Australia 1930; Mueller Memorial Medal, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science 1932; Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria 1944; W.B. Clarke Memorial Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales 1946. Active participant in the International Botanical Congress, Cambridge, 1930; president, Royal Society of South Australia 1933-34.


Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus viminalis var. diversifolia J.M.Black [synonym]
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus baxteri var. pedicella J.M.Black [synonym]
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus incrassata var. protrusa J.M.Black
Award - Sir Joseph Verco Medal
Award - The Mueller Medal
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus obliqua L'Herit. var. megacarpa Blakely. Black was joint collector of the type.
Award - Appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire
Award - Australian Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalist Club of Victoria
Award - The Clarke Medal

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Private hands (Andrew, M.W.)

  • John McConnell Black - Records, 1855 - 1951; Private hands (Andrew, M.W.). Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • John McConnell Black - Records, 1887 - 1957, PRG 346; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Black, J. M., The naturalised flora of South Australia, J. M. Black, Adelaide, 1909, 192 pp. Details
  • Black, J. M., Flora of South Australia., British Science Guild, South Australian Branch, Adelaide, 1922, 746 pp. Details
  • Eichler, Hansjorg, Supplement to J.M. Black's Flora of South Australia (second edition, 1943-1957), British Science Guild, South Australian Branch, Adelaide, 1965, 385 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Black, J.M., 'Myrtaceae. Eucalyptus incrassata var. protrusa J.M.Black. Flora of South Australia Part 3.', in J. M. Black (ed.), Flora of South Australia., British Science Guild, South Australian Branch, Adelaide, 1926, p. 421. Details
  • Robertson, Enid, 'Black, John McConnell (1855-1951), botanist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 304-305. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Black, J. M., 'One Hundred Years of Systematic Botany in South Australia.', Proceedings of the Royal Society of South Australia, vol. lx, 1936, pp. xxxi-xxxiv. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • 'List of genus Eucalyptus published under this authority using author abbreviation search 'J.M.Black' and genus 'Eucalyptus'', Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), Australian National Botanic Gardens, 2012, Details
  • Hall, Norman, Botanists of the Eucalypts: short biographies of people who have named eucalypts, whose names have been given to species or who have collected type material, CSIRO, Melbourne, 1978, 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J., Moje, C.R. & Walsh, N.