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Biographical entry Behr, Hermann Hans (1818 - 1904)

Dr (MD)

18 August 1818
Goethen, Germany
6 March 1904
San Francisco, California, United States of America
Botanical collector, Medical practitioner and Pharmacist


Hermann Hans Behr qualified as a doctor in Berlin in 1843 but travelled to Australia the year after to pursue his interest in anthropology, botany and entomology. From 1844 to 1847 he lived in South Australia observing and documenting the culture of local Aboriginal nations, and collecting insect and plant specimens. He described many new insect species and most of his plant specimens were sent to and described by Ferdinand von Mueller. Behr later lived and worked in California and was involved in the introduction of Australian plants to that region. He described Eucalyptus odorata Behr(1947), and his name is commemorated in the genus Behria and about 40 species of Australian plants.



1844 - 1847
Career event - Collected insect and plant specimens in South Australia
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus behriana F.Muell. was named for Behr in acknowledgement of his collecting work
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus odorata Behr

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Behr, H. H., Synopsis of the genera of vascular plants in the vicinity of San Francisco, with an attempt to arrange them according to evolutionary principles (San Francisco: Payot, Upham, 1884), 165 pp. Details
  • Maiden, J.H., On Eucalyptus odorata, Behr. (Adelaide: Royal Society of South Australia, 1903), 252 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Behr, H. H., 'Changes in the fauna and flora of California', Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 2 (1) (1888), 94-99. Details
  • Brelag, Allan H., 'Hans Hermann Behr (1818 - 1904): botanist, entomologist, anthropologist, humorist and dangerous?', Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, 150 (1) (2016), 23-30. Details
  • Kraehenbuehl, D. N., 'Dr. H. H. Behr's Two Visits to South Australia in 1844-45 and 1848-49', Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, 3 (1) (1981), 101-123. Details
  • Schlechtendal, D.F.L. von, 'Suedaustralische Pflanzen. II. Bestimmung und Beschreibung der von Dr Behr in Suedaustralien gesammelten Pflanzen.', Linnaea (1847), 545-672. 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

Rebecca Rigby and Neville Walsh