Pierre Duchartre and his work on Clivia.

I have found the notes on Clivia miniata and C. ×cyrtanthiflorum written by Pierre Duchartre, and the careful and comprehensive descriptions offered therein, to be amongst the best I have encountered anywhere. Some of Duchartre's interpretations are incorrect in hindsight - but then one must remember that he was working on clivias in 1859, 150+ years ago, basing his understanding on a much poorer body of knowledge, and he can thus be forgiven for any errors.

On this site I am offering full renditions of his two long clivia articles in PDF, with the original French, as well as my translation into English (so you can check up on me!) in parallel columns. Unfortunately my ability to proof read French is rather limited, and as the French text originated as an OCR, it may contain a few errors:
Clivia miniata PDF - download HERE
The image accompanying the above description is a beautiful plate drawn by Alfred Riocreux and chromolithographed by Guillaume Severeyns, the very famous Belgian practitioner of this art. Unfortunately it was not scanned properly by GoogleBooks. I have managed to acquire two pieces of it which I have mounted as a single image, which at least allows one to have some appreciation of how it should look. To examine this image, click HERE
If you wish to see the original pages of the periodical from which I acquired these notes, please click HERE
C. ×cyrtanthiflorum PDF - download HERE
If you wish to see the original pages of the periodical from which I acquired these notes, please click HERE
Interestingly, despite the firmness of his decision to utilise the generic name Himantophyllum in these two 1859 papers, as soon as 1867, in his landmark text Éléments de Botanique, he used the epithet Clivia nobilis exclusively in a paragraph where he was discussing the characteristics of clivia chloroplasts! To see the original pages of this work, click HERE
Below is a heap of biographic and bibliographic detail on the man himself, allowing one the opportunity to better appreciate him and his world, with some further links.

Pierre Étienne Simon Duchartre - French Botanist.
Born 27 October 1811, Portiragnes, Hérault
Died 5 November 1894, Meudon, Paris.
Specialised in plant physiology. Professor of botany, Agricultural Institute, Versailles, 1849-1852; Professor of botany, Faculty of Sciences, Sorbonne, Paris, 1861-1887.
Elected Member of the Académie des sciences, 21 January 1861 (botany section); President of l'Académie des sciences in 1891.
Was one of the founders of the Société Botanique de France in 1854, and its president in 1859, 1868, 1874, 1876, 1888 and 1893.

One of the most comprehensive bibliographies of Duchartre was the one published as "Notice biographique sur Pierre Duchartre: membre de l'Académie des sciences ..." by Henri L de Vilmorin, from Journal de la Societe nationale d'Horticulture de France ser. III, 17:39-56, 1895 (18 pages) from which I obtained the above portrait. The full French text (more or less corrected) is available HERE, and if you would like to examine a machine-translated English version, click the following LINK which will allow a suitably modified version of the French text, adjusted to avoid the problems cause by word liaisons, to be translated. (Bear in mind that it is not always an easy read and that the gender of the possessives 'his', 'her' and 'its' can be all over the place, amongst other things; such as the piece appearing as "BIOGRAPHY IN STONE Duchartre" - 'Pierre' is the French word for 'stone'. Peter was, after all, 'The Rock'.)

Another version that I have acquired is the one given below from the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. From November 1896 to June 1897. - (SESSION 1894-95).

p. 5. Minutes - February 7th, 1895.
"The vacancies on the list of Foreign Members caused by the deaths of Monsieur Pierre Duchartre, Dr. Nathan Pringsheim, and Dr. Eduard von Regel, having been announced by the President....."
p. 11. Minutes - May 24th, 1895. Anniversary Meeting.
"Since the last Anniversary Meeting 15 Fellows had died, or their deaths had been ascertained, viz. [amongst others]:
Prof. Pierre Duchartre."
pp 31-32.
"Pierre Etienne Simon Duchartre was born at Portiragnes, a small village near Beziers, on October 27th, 1811, the second of nine children, his father being an advocate at Beziers, and descended on both sides from country proprietors. About the age of 12 his family removed to Toulouse, where the subject of our notice completed his early training. Having finished his classical course while only fifteen years of age, he was compelled to wait till he was older to proceed to his Bachelor's degree ; and while waiting for this efflux of time, he attended certain scientific courses, and thus acquired a taste for botany. He gained several prizes in this department, much to the regret of his father, who wanted his son to follow in his own steps. In obedience to parental desire, our future Foreign Member applied himself for one year to the study of the Law ; but his repugnance to this could not be overcome, and his father allowed his son's strong bent to have its way.
"Thus it became necessary for him to seek some way of earning his daily bread, the means of taking his degree, and also to help his family at that time, reduced in number to two. He gave lessons on botanical subjects at first in Toulouse, then from the year 1837 at Monsempron ; the year before this, 1836, he issued a fasciculus of dried plants of the neighbourhood of Toulouse, named Flore pyrénéen, as well as a memoir of the local plants, which was presented to the Academy of Paris only in 1844. At Monsempron he found himself quite alone, and destitute of his accustomed books to help him in his work. He thereupon began his studies in the history and development of the flower; and during the six years he lived at that place he prepared his thesis for the degree of Doctor. In 1843 Duchartre arrived in Paris, where an elder brother was living ; his ambition was to so succeed there as to be able to return to his home in the south as professor in the faculty of science. His purse being slenderly filled, he presented himself to Brongniart and to Decaisne : both received him amiably, but at first were not able to give him the employment wanted. He then accepted a position on the Staff of the Echo du Monde savaute by offering to make translations from English, German, &c., in a short time becoming the Editor of this print. The following year Decaisne presented Duchartre to D'Orbigny, who was then busy on his great Dictionary, which had then reached to the letter Gr. To Duchartre was then assigned all that remained as regards botany, and he wrote for it a considerable number of articles.
"From this time it was tolerably easy to get paying work : he contributed to the Encyclopédie du XIXme Siecle, and two or three similar serials, and undertook the whole management for the two years it lived of the Révue botanique, under the active patronage of Benjamin Delessert, in whose library he was accustomed to spend several hours daily. From the first he wrote his papers in their final form ; and in his case long and frequent polishing was not the secret of his success.
"In 1849 he was nominated Professor of Rural Botany to the Institut Nationale Agronomique de Versailles, which only lasted three years: during these three years Duchartre was working hard but publishing little. He had to lead the way in France to certain branches of instruction, and also to make a garden after his own plan. It was in this garden that he found out the value of flowers of sulphur in the destruction of the Oidium.
"On the suppression of this institute without compensation, Duchartre resumed his old way of life. He completed the Manuel des Plantes which Herineq and Jacques began, and drew up for the period 1854-61 the Bibliographic Review of the Botanical Society of France, that is to say, for its first eight years. By this time he had produced more than forty papers of more or less extent. Finally, in 1861, his difficulties were cleared away by his election as a Member of the Académie des Sciences, and two months afterwards as Professor of Botany in the Sorbonne, a chair which he retained for twenty-six years and fulfilled its duties with a rigorous exactitude. Whilst here he drew up his Éléments de Botanique, which passed through three editions, amounting in number to 14,000 copies. At length having, in 1886, attained the limit of age, he retired from the chair; but this retirement did not stop his activity, as many subsequent communications testify.
"He died rather suddenly, 5th November, 1894, aged 86. By his express desire, no speeches were made over his grave. His election as Foreign Member of this Society dates from 3rd May, 1877."

An obituary appeared in the American periodical Nature 51: 344-344 of the 07 February 1895:
"As announced in our issue of November 8, 1894, the doyen of French botanists died on the 5th of that month, "having passed away without suffering, at the advanced age of eighty-three". Pierre Duchartre was pre-eminently a practical botanist, whose teachings were largely based upon actual knowledge, acquired by observation and experiment. Almost before the foundation of the present German school of botanists, of whom Sachs was one of the earliest exponents, Duchartre published (1867) the first edition of his well-known and highly esteemed Éléments de botanique. It was the result of thirty years' study and investigation; his first paper having appeared as early as 1836. It is true that Sachs's Handbuch der Experimental Physiologie der Pflanzen preceded it by one year; but for some years Duchartre's book held its own, not only in France but also in this country."

A partial Bibliography of the works of Pierre Duchartre (notably those that had been issued as separata):
The abbreviation Duch. is used to indicate Pierre Étienne Simon Duchartre as a botanical author in the description and naming of new taxa.

Various biographies and obituary notices for Duchartre.

Bulletin société botanique de France, 41:529, 530.
Bulletin société botanique de France, 42:88-143, portr.
Revue Génerale de botanique. 6:481-504 (w bibliog}.
Bulletin de la Societe royale de Botanique de Belgique, 33(2):175-177
Monde des Plantes, 4:65,66;224-226
Journal des Botanique, 8:381-385
Maire, Catalogue des Thèses de Sciences. 159
Potiquet, L'Institut national de France.
Journal de la Societe nationale d'Horticulture de France ser. III, 17:39-56, portr.
Annales Des Sciences Naturelles ser. X, 16:cxxiv, portr.
Pritzel ??
van Tieghem, P. 1910. Notice sur la vie et les travaux de Pierre Duchartre.
Clos, D. 1895. La vie et l'oeuvre botanique de P. Duchartre. (134 pages)

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