A dedication to ODOARDO BECCARI, the greatest botanist ever to study in Malesia, is long overdue. Although best known as a plant taxonomist, his versatile genius extended far beyond the basic field of this branch of Botany, his wide interest leading him to investigate the laws of evolution, the interrelations between plants and animals, the connection between vegetation and environment, plant distribution, the cultivated and useful plants of Malesia and many other problems of plant life. But, even if he devoted his studies to plants, in the depth of his mind he was primarily a naturalist, and in his long, lonely and dangerous explorations in Malesia he was attracted to all aspects of nature and human life, assembling, besides plants, an incredibly large number of collections and an invaluable wealth of drawings and observations in zoology, anthropology and ethnology. He was indeed a naturalist, and one of the greatest of his time; but never in his mind were the knowledge and beauty of Nature disjoined, and, as he was a true and complete naturalist, he was at the same time a poet and an artist. His Nelleforeste di Borneo, Viaggi e ricerche di un mturalista (1902), excellently translated into English (in a somewhat abbreviated form) by Prof. E. GioLiouand revised and edited by F.H.H. Guillemard as Wanderings in the great forests of Borneo (1904), is a treasure in tropical botany; it is in fact an unrivalled introduction to tropical plant life and animals, man included. It is a most readable book touching on all sorts of topics and we advise it to be studied by all young people whose ambition it is to devote their life to tropical research.
|Journal||Flora Malesiana - Series 1, Spermatophyta|
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
Pichi Sermolli, R.E.G, & van Steenis, C.G.G.J. (1979). Dedication. Flora Malesiana - Series 1, Spermatophyta, 9(1), 6–47.