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Biographical entry Diels, Friedrich Ludwig Emil (1874 - 1945)

24 September 1874
Hamburg, Germany
30 November 1945
Berlin, Germany


Ludwig Diels was a German botanist. Between 1900 and 1902 he and Ernst Pritzel collected widely in South Africa, Java, eastern and Western Australia and New Zealand. They were in Western Australia from October 1900 to December 1901, and collected over 5700 specimens. They jointly published 'Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae Occidentalis', a key description of Western Australian plants. A translation of Diels's account of the exploration of Western Australian flora was published in 'People and Plants in Australia' in 1981. The majority of his collections were stored at the famous botanical garden in Berlin-Dahlem, whose vice director he had been since 1913, becoming its director in 1921 until 1945. His collections were destroyed there during an air raid in 1943, which affected him deeply.



1900 - 1901
Career event - Collected plant specimens in Western Australia with fellow botanist Ernst Pritzel
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus forrestiana Diels. He also collected the type
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus occidentalis var. eremophila Diels
1913 - 1921
Career position - Vice Director, Botanical Gardens Berlin
Taxonomy event - Collector of the type Eucalyptus dundasii Maiden
Taxonomy event - Collector of the type Eucalyptus occidentalis Endl. var. stenantha Diels ex Maiden
Taxonomy event - Eucalyptus eremophila (Diels) Maiden
1921 - 1945
Career position - Director, Botanical Gardens Berlin
Taxonomy event - Honoured with Eucalyptus dielsii C.A.Gardn.

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions


  • Diels, Ludwig and Pritzel, Ernst, Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae occidentalis : Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Pflanzen Westaustraliens, ihrer Verbreitung und ihrer Lebens-Verhältnisse. (Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann, 1905), 662 pp. Details

CD Roms

  • Diels, Ludwig, Plant Life of Western Australia: South of the Tropics (a translation by B.J. Grieve, B.B. Lamont and E.O. Hellmuth, edited by N. Gibson) (Perth: [s.n.], 2003). Details

Edited Books

  • Carr, D. J.; Carr, S.G.M. ed., People and Plants in Australia (Sydney: Academic Press, 1981). Details

Journal Articles

  • Beard, John Stanley, 'The Botanists Diels and Pritzel in Western Australia: A Centenary', Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 84 (2001), 143-148. Details



  • Diels, Ludwig, ed., Plant Life of Western Australia: South of the Tropics (a translation by B.J. Grieve, B.B. Lamont and E.O. Hellmuth, edited by N. Gibson) (2003)
    Kellermann, Jürgen, Australian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter, 118, (2004), 26-28. Details

See also

  • 'List of eucalypts published under author abbreviation search '% Diels%' (include wildcards) 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 (Melbourne: CSIRO, 1978), 101 pp. Details

Christine Moje