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Biographical entry Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817 - 1911)


30 June 1817
Halesworth, Suffolk, England
10 December 1911
Windlesham, Berkshire, England
Biogeographer, Botanist and Explorer


Sir Joseph Hooker was a British botanist and explorer. After completing his medical degree, he joined the Naval Medical Service. From 1839-1843 he accompanied Captain James Ross's Antarctic expedition as ship surgeon and naturalist on the Erebus. Joseph Hooker published his botanical explorations on that voyage in three large volumes: Flora Antarctica (1844-1847), Flora Novae-Zelandiae (1853-1855) and Flora Tasmaniae (1855-1860). These books remain a significant contribution to the study of southern plants, written in a critical period in the history of biology with the ascent of Darwinism. Tasmanian botanists Ronald Gunn and William Archer assisted with sending his large plant collections to Kew Gardens in London. Joseph Hooker named many plants and several eucalypts. He commemorated Ronald Gunn in naming Eucalyptus gunnii for him in 1844. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker succeeded his father Sir William Jackson Hooker in 1865 as director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London.



Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus gunnii Hook.f. (= Eucalyptus ovata Labill.)
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus vernicosa Hook.f.
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus urnigera Hook.f.
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus risdonii Hook.f.
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus gigantea Hook.f. (= Eucalyptus delegatensis R.T.Bak. (1920))
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus coccifera Hook.f.
1855 - 1865
Career position - Assistant Director, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, England
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus nitida Hook f.
1865 - 1885
Career position - Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

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

  • Joseph Dalton Hooker - Records, 1839 - 1907, ML DOC 1122; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Herbarium, Melbourne

  • Joseph Dalton Hooker - Records, 1857 - 1896, MSS M3; National Herbarium, Melbourne. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Bentham, George and Hooker, Joseph Dalton, Genera plantarum ad exemplaria imprimis in Herbariis Kewensibus servata definata (London: Reeve & Co., 1862). Details
  • Desmond, Ray, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Traveller and Plant Collector (London: Antique Collectors Club in association with The Royal Horticultural Society, Kew, 1999), 286 pp. Details
  • Galloway, David J., A Man Tenax Propositi: Transcriptions of Letters from Charles Knight to William Jackson Hooker and Joseph Dalton Hooker Between 1852 and 1883 ([Wellington]: Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2013), 88 pp. Details
  • Hooker, Joseph Dalton, On the Flora of Australia: its Origin, Affinities, and Distribution (London: Lovell-Reeve, 1859). Details
  • Hooker, Joseph Dalton Sir, The botany [of] the Antarctic voyage of H.M. discovery ships Erebus and Terror, in the years 1839-1843 under the command of Captain Sir J.C. Ross (London: Reeve, 1844), 528 pp. Details
  • Huxley, L, Life and Letters of Sir J. D. Hooker, 2 vols (London: John Murray, 1918). Details
  • McCalman, Iain,, Darwin's Armada (Camberwell (Vic.) : Viking, 2009), 422 pp. Details
  • Nolden, Sascha, Nathan, Simon and Mildenhall, Esme, The Correspondence of Julius Haast and Joseph Dalton Hooker, 1861-1886 ([Wellington]: Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2013), 219 pp. Details
  • Turrill, W. B., Pioneer Plant Geography. The phytogeographical researches of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (The Hague: 1953). Details

Book Sections

Edited Books

  • Yaldwyn, John and Hobbs, Juliet eds, My Dear Hector: Letters from Joseph Dalton Hooker to James Hector, 1862-1893 (Wellington: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 1998), 292 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Earp, Clem, '"A Correspondence Long Interrupted": Ronald Gunn Re-establishes Contact with Joseph Hooker in 1870', The Victorian Naturalist, 131 (6) (2014), 204-6. Details
  • Endersby, J., '"From having no herbarium." Local knowledge versus metropolitan expertise: Joseph Hooker's Australasian correspondence with William Colenso and Ronald Gunn', Pacific science, 55 (4) (2001), 343-58. Details
  • Galloway, D. J., 'Joseph Hooker, Charles Knight and the commissioning of New Zealand's first popular flora: Hooker's Handbook of the New Zealand Flora (1864-1867)', Tuhinga, 10 (1998), 31-62. Details
  • Hansen, Anita, 'Colonial Correspondents and Joseph Dalton Hooker', Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 147 (2013), 33-40. Details
  • Hooker, J. D., 'George Bentham, FRS', Annals of Botany, 12 (1898). Details
  • Hooker, J. D., 'Review of 'George Bentham'', Kew Bulletin (1906), 106. Details
  • Kantvilas, G., 'A Brief History of Lichenology in Tasmania, Australia', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 117 (1983), 41-52. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., 'Sir Joseph Hooker. Presidential Address.', Journal and Proceedings of The Royal Society of New South Wales, xivi (1912), 3-6. Details
  • Stevens, P.F., 'J.D. Hooker, George Bentham, Asa Gray and Ferdinand Mueller on Species Limits in Theory and Practice: a Mid-Nineteenth-Century Debate and its Repercussions', Historical Records of Australian Science, 11 (3) (1997), 335-344. Details



See also

  • 'List of genus Eucalyptus published under this authority use author abbreviation search 'Hook.f.' and genus 'Eucalyptus'', Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), Australian National Botanic Gardens, 2012, Details
  • Burns, Rowan and Nathan, Simon, My Dear Hooker: Transcriptions of Letters From James Hector to Joseph Dalton Hooker Between 1860 and 1898 (Lower Hutt, N.Z.: Geoscience Society of New Zealand, 2012), 208 pp. 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 (Melbourne: CSIRO, 1978), 101 pp. Details
  • Henderson, M. Helen and Henderson, William G., The greater prize than gold: Augustus Oldfield, nineteenth century botanical collector and ethnographer (Perth, W.A.: The Book Reality Experience, 2018), 520 pp. Details
  • Lucas, Arthur M., 'Disposing of John Lindley's Library and Herbarium: the Offer to Australia', Archives of Natural History, 35 (1) (2008), 15-70. Details
  • Maroske, Sara, 'Australian and Indian Plants: Making Connexions in Nineteenth-Century Botany', Historical Records of Australian Science, 23 (2012), 107-29. Details

Gavan McCarthy, Christine Moje & Neville Walsh