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Biographical entry Betche, Ernst (1851 - 1913)

31 December 1851
28 June 1913
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Botanical collector and Botanist


Ernst Betche was appointed as a botanical collector for the Sydney Botanic Gardens in 1881, botanical assistant in 1897 and later chief botanical assistant. He collected widely in New South Wales and published many papers on systematic botany in Australia.


Born 31 December 1851. Baptised Daniel Ludwig Ernst at Potsdam, near Berlin. Died Sydney, 28 June 1913. Educated Horticultural College, Potsdam. Municipal Gardens, Berlin; volunteer gardener, Ghent, Belgium 1974; collected plants in the South Seas; arrived Sydney 1880; director, Sydney Botanic Gardens 1881-97, botanical assistant from 1897 and later chief botanical assistant. Collaborated with Charles Moore in the "Handbook of the Flora of New South Wales" (1893) and with J.H. Maiden in "A Census of New South Wales Plants" (1916).


1881 - 1897
Career position - Botanical collector at the Sydney Botanic Gardens
1897 - 1913
Career position - Botanical assistant at the Sydney Botanic Gardens
Taxonomy event - Betche was collector of a syntype of Eucalyptus stuartiana F. Muell ex Miq. var. amblycorys Blakely.

Related Corporate Bodies

  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (1816 - )

    Ernst Betche held multiple positions at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. He was Director between 1881 - 1897 and Botanical Assistant then Chief Botanical Assistant from 1897 - 1913.

    Date: 1881 - 1913

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Ernst Betche - Records, 1913; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Maiden, J. H., Sydney Botanic Gardens: biographical notes concerning the officers in charge (Sydney: 1902). Details
  • Maiden, J. H.; Betche, Ernst, A census of New South Wales plants (Sydney: Government Printer, 1916), 216 pp. Details
  • Moore, Charles; Betche, Ernst, Handbook of the flora of New South Wales : a description of the flowering plants and ferns indigenous to New South Wales (Sydney: Government Printer, 1893), 582 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Froggatt, Walter W., 'The Curators and Botanists of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney.', Royal Australian Historical Society, xviii (III) (1932), 101-133. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Records of Australian Botanists', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, lv (1921), 60-132; 150-169. Details


See also

  • 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 (Melbourne: CSIRO, 1978), 101 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.