Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866) and taxonomical history of Warszewiczia coccinea (Vahl) Klotzsch


  • Alicja Zemanek Botanic Garden, Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3335-0723
  • Bogdan Zemanek Botanic Garden, Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland) https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0237-3321
  • Tomasz Głuszak Botanic Garden, Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland) https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7107-9770
  • Marcin Nobis Institute of Botany, Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland)




Central and South America, Johann Friedrich Klotzsch, Julius von Rohr, Martin Vahl, plant collector, herbarium


Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866) – traveler and naturalist, the main horticulturist (inspector) of the Botanic Garden of theJagiellonian University in Kraków, was one of the first plant collectors in the tropical regions of Central and South America. From his travels (1844–1850, 1850–1853) he sent and brought to Europe hundreds of previously unknown plants, primarily orchids, in addition to representatives of other families.

One of the collected species was Warszewiczia coccinea (red warszewiczia in English, warszewiczia czerwona in Polish), described by Johann F. Klotzsch and named after the collector. It is a small tree or shrub with large, red inflorescences, growing wild in the American tropics and often cultivated as an ornamental. It plays a significant role in the culture of the island country of Trinidad and Tobago in the Little Antilles archipelago, where it is considered a “national plant”.

The aim of this article is to highlight one of the chapters in the history of systematics (taxonomy) relating to Józef Warszewicz and the plants described on the basis of his collections, especially red warszewiczia.

Many of the so-called “Warszewicz species” have survived in the taxonomy to this day. His unique collection is stored in the Herbarium of the Jagiellonian University – Herbarium Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis – KRA. There are specimens important to the science – lectotypes (model representations) of the species Warszewiczia pulcherrima (= W. coccinea).


Andersson, Susanna; Nilsson, L. Anders; Groth, Inga; Bergström, Gunnar 2002: Floral scents in butterfly-pollinated plants: possible convergence in chemical composition. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 140(2), pp. 129–153. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1095-8339.2002.00068.x.

AZ [Alicja, Zemanek] 2015: Warszewicz Józef […]. [In:] Bolesław, Orłowski (scientific editor) Polski wkład w przyrodoznawstwo i technikę. Słownik polskich i związanych z Polską odkrywców, wynalazców oraz pionierów nauk matematycznoprzyrodniczych i techniki. [The Polish contribution to natural sciences and technology. Dictionary of Polish and Polish-related explorers, inventors and pioneers of the mathematical and natural sciences and technology]. Vol. 4. Warszawa: Instytut Historii Nauki im. L. i A. Birkenmajerów PAN, ISBN: 978-83-86062-28-7, ISBN: 978-83-86062-97-3; Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, ISBN: 978-83-7629-828-3, ISBN: 978-83-7629-832-0, pp. 353–355.

Baksh-Comeau, Y. S.; Maharaj, S. S.; Adams, C. D; Harris, S.A.; Filer, D. L.; Hawthorne, W. D. 2016: An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical ‘hotspots’. Phytotaxa 250(1), pp. 1–431. Available online (17.11.2020) https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.250.1.1.

Berlin negatives at the Field Museum of Natural History, U.S.A, Illinois, Chicago (F) 2020: Available online (4.03.2020): https://collections-botany.fieldmuseum.org/list.

Bremer, B.; Eriksson, O. 2009: Time tree of Rubiaceae: phylogeny and dating the family, subfamily, and tribes. International Journal of Plant Science 170, pp. 766–793. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.1086/599077

Candolle, [Augustin Pyramus] de 1830: Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis […]. Pars quarta [Vol. 4]. Parisiis: [Treuttel et Würtz].

Czerwiakowski, Ignacy Rafał 1864: Rys historyczno-statystyczny Ogrodu Botanicznego krakowskiego, od jego zawiązku aż do r. 1864. [Historicostatistical outline of the Kraków Botanic Garden from its beginning up to 1864]. [In:] Zakłady uniwersyteckie w Krakowie. Kraków: C. K. Towarzystwo Naukowe Krakowskie, pp. 144–233.

Czerwiakowski, Ignatio Raphaële; Warszewicz, Josepho 1864: Catalogus plantarum, quae in C.R. Horto Botanico Cracoviensi anno 1864 – ab erecta C.R. Universitate Studiorum Jagellonica quingentesimo. a fundato vero horto octogesimo educantur; secundum system Endlicherianum ab Ignatio Raphaële Czerwiakowski Med. Dre, Professore p.o. ac Directore ejusdem Horti et Josepho Warszewicz Inspectore editus. Cracoviae: Typis C.R. Universitatis Jagellonicae.

Delprete, P.G. 2019: Notes on calycophyllous Rubiaceae. Part V. A succinct overview of genera with calycophylls, and a revision of Pteridocalyx (Sipaneeae) with observations on distyly and calycophyll variation. Phytotaxa 391, pp. 81–92. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.391.1.6.

Duncan, E. Julian 2007: A review on Warszewiczia coccinea (Vahl) Klotzsch – the ‘Chaconia’. Living World. Journal of The Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club 2007, pp. 1–7. Available online (17.11.2020): http://ttfnc.org/livingworld/index.php/lwj/article/download/212/203.

F.B. [Feliks Berdau] 1861: Józef Warszewicz. Tygodnik Ilustrowany 3(89), pp. 209–210.

IPNI 2021: International Plant Names Index. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries and Australian National Botanic Gardens. Available online (16.03.2021): http://www.ipni.org.

IPNI 2021a: Van Houtte, Louis Benoît (1810-1876). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/34342-1.

IPNI 2021b: Reichenbach, Heinrich Gustav (filius) (1824–1889) [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/8254-1.

IPNI 2021c: Dietrich, Albert Gottfried (1795–1856). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/2206-1.

IPNI 2021d: Klotzsch, Johann Friedrich (1805–1860). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/4855-1.

IPNI 2021e: Lindley, John (1799–1865). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/22383-1.

IPNI 2021f: Otto, Christoph Friedrich (1783–1856). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/7204-1.

IPNI 2021g: Regel, Eduard August von (1815–1892). [In:] International Plant Names Index. Available online: https://www.ipni.org/a/8237-1.

Jungfer, Karl-Heinz 2017: On Warszewicz’s trail: the identity of Hyla molitor O. Schmidt, 1857. Salamandra 53(1), pp. 18–24. Available online (17.11.2020): http://www.salamandra-journal.com.

Kainulainen, K.; Persson, C.; Eriksson, T.; Bremer, B. 2010: Molecular systematics and morphological character evolution of the Condamineae (Rubiaceae). American Journal of Botany 97, pp. 1961–1981. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1000090.

K.G. [Krystyna, Güntherowa] 1987: Warszewicz Józef (1812–1866), florysta, ogrodnik. [Warszewicz Józef (1812–1866), florist, horticulturist]. [In:] Stanisław, Feliksiak (ed.) Słownik biologów polskich [Dictionary of Polish biologists].Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, ISBN: 83-01-00656 0, pp. 565–566.

Klotzsch, J.F. 1853: Einige neue Gattungen der Rubiaceen. Bericht über die zur Bekanntmachung geeigneten Verhandlungen der Konigl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1853, pp. 494–502. Available online (17.11.2020): https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/109942#page/4/mode/1up.

Köhler, Piotr 2014: The life of Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866): the Kraków period. Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum 2(2), pp. 18–36. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.11590/abhps.2014.1.02.

Lorence, David H. 1999: A nomenclator of Mexican and Central American Rubiaceae. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 73, pp. 1–177. Available online (17.11.2020): https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/ia/mobot31753002705538/#page/1/mode/1up.

Mägdefrau, Karl 2004: Historia botaniki. Życie i dokonania wielkich badaczy. [History of botany. The life and achievements of great researchers]. [Translated by M. Mularczyk], ser.: Prace Ogrodu Botanicznego Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego Vol. 7(1) („Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis” 2258)]. ISSN 0239–6661 ISBN 83–229–2523–9, pp. 357.

Majewski, Tomasz; Zemanek, Alicja 2010: Józef Warszewicz [..]. [In:] Irena, Stasiewicz-Jasiukowa (ed.). The contribution of Polish science and technology to world heritage. Committee of History of Science and Technology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Kraków – Warszawa: Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education „Ignatianum”, ISBN: 978-83-7614-093-3; Wydawnictwo WAM, ISBN: 978-83-7505-657-0, p. 130.

MANU Native and Medicinal Plants: Available online (4.03.2020): (http://www.enjoyperu.com/peru_travel_tours).

Micherdziński, Wiktor 1971: W Ameryce o Warszewiczu [On Warszewicz in America]. Wszechświat 1971(12), pp. 319–321.

Mueller, C. 1858: Synopsis plantarum phanerogamicarum novarum omnium per annos 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855 descriptarum. Annales Botanices Systematicae 5, pp. 1–966.

[N.N.] 1849: Pflanzen Sendung des Herrn v. Warszewicz. Allgemeine Gartenzeitung 17(28), pp. 223–224.

Nobis, Marcin; Głuszak, Tomasz; Zemanek, Alicja; Zemanek, Bogdan 2020: Lectotypication of Warszewiczia pulcherrima (Rubiaceae) with note on Józef Warszewicz’s plant collection preserved at KRA herbarium from his trip to Central and South America. Phytotaxa 442(1), pp. 047–051. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.442.1.9.

Ogrodnictwo 1927: Miesięcznik wydawany przez Towarzystwo Ogrodnicze w Krakowie. Zeszyt poświęcony pamięci J. Warszewicza [Periodical published by Horticultural Society in Kraków. An issue dedicated to memory of J. Warszewicz] 23(1), pp. 2–32 (edited by Józef, Brzeziński; Kazimierz, Simm; Stefan, Ziobrowski). [Artykuły dotyczące m.in. życia Warszewicza, jego podróży, roślin nazwanych na jego cześć oraz kilka listów]. [Papers concerning life of Warszewicz, his travels, plants named in his honour, and several letters].

Ossenbach Sauter, Carlos, 2010: Josef Ritter Von Rawiez (sic!) [Rawicz] Warscewicz (sic.!) [Warszewicz] (1812–1866). Biocenosis 23(1), pp. 56–61.

Pantoja, S.C.S. 1994: Revisão taxinômica do gênero Warscewiczia Klotzsch (Rubiaceae, Rondeletieae). Master Dissertation. Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro, pp. 110.

Piekiełko [Zemanek], Alicja 1983: Historia Ogrodu Botanicznego Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego w Krakowie. Historia Horti Botanici Universitatis Iagiellonicae Cracoviensis. (The history of the Jagiellonian University Botanical Garden in Cracow). Warszawa – Kraków: Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Varia 164, PWN, Nakł. UJ. ISBN: 83-01-04814-x.

Poiret, J.L.M. 1797: Mussaenda coccinea. [In:] [Jean, Baptiste, Lamarck] Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique. Vol. 4. Paris: H. Agasse, p. 394. Available online (17.11.2020): https://bibdigital.rjb.csic.es/viewer/9710.

Reinikka, Merle A. 1995: Josef Ritter von Rawicz Warszewicz (1812–1866). [In:] A history of the orchid. [In:] Merle, A. Reinikka (ed. 2). Oregon: Timber Press, Portland, ISBN: 0-88192-325-7, pp. 189–192.

Rova, J.H.E.; Delprete, P.G.; Andersson, L.; Albert, V.A. 2002: A trnL-F cpDNA sequence study of the Condamineeae-Rondeletieae-Sipaneeae complex with implications on the phylogeny of the Rubiaceae. American Journal of Botany 89, pp. 145–159. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.89.1.145.

Sampolinski, J. 1963: Josef Warszewicz – A famous orchid collector. The Orchid Review 71 (840): pp. 213–214.

Savage, J.M. 1970: On the trail of the golden frog: with Warscewicz (sic!) [Warszewicz] and Gabb in Central America. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series 38, pp. 273–288.

Stafleu, Frans A. 1971: Linnaeus and the Linneans. The spreading of their ideas in systematic botany, 1735–1789. Utrecht, Netherlands: Published by A. Oosthoek’s Uitgeversmaatschappij N.V. for the International Association for Plant Taxonomy. ISBN: 90 60 460642.

Stafleu, Frans Antonie; Cowan, Richard S. 1979: Taxonomic literature: a selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Second edition. Vol. 2: H-Le. Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema, Utrecht: dr. W. Junk b.v., Publishers, The Hague. Complete work ISBN: 90 313 0224 4; Volume 2 ISBN: 90 313 03437.

Stafleu, Frans Antonie; Cowan, Richard S. 1983: Taxonomic literature: a selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Second edition. Vol. 4: P-Sak. Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema, Utrecht/Antwerpen: dr. W. Junk b.v., Publishers, The Hague/Boston. Complete work ISBN: 90 3130224 4; Volume 4 ISBN: 90 313 0549 9.

Stafleu, Frans Antonie; Cowan, Richard S. 1986: Taxonomic literature: a selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Second edition. Vol. 6: Sti-Vuy. Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema, Utrecht/Antwerpen: dr. W. Junk b.v., Publishers, The Hague/Boston. Complete work ISBN: 90 313 0224 4; Volume 6 ISBN: 90 313 07149.

Stafleu, Frans, Antonie; Cowan, Richard S. 1988: Taxonomic literature. A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Vol. 7: W-Z. Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema, Utrecht/Antwerpen: dr. Junk b.v., Publishers, The Hague/Boston. Complete work ISBN: 90 313 0224 4; Volume 7 ISBN: 90 313 08536.

Stafleu, Frans A.; Mennega, Erik A. 1995: Taxonomic literature. A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Supplement 3: Br-Ca. Königstein, Germany: Koeltz Scientific Books. The whole supplement ISBN: 3-87429-339-4; The present volume ISBN: 3-87429-376-9.

Szafer, Władysław 1927: Warszewiczia pulcherrima Kl. (W. coccinea Kl.). Ogrodnictwo 23(1), pp. 10–12.

Szafer, Władysław 1969: Concise history of botany in Cracow against the background of six centuries of the Jagiellonian University (Zarys historii botaniki w Krakowie na tle sześciu wieków Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego). Translated from Polish [by Witold Kulerski and Halina Markiewicz]. Published for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., by the Scientific Publications Foreign Cooperation Center of the Central Institute for Scientific, Technical and Economic Information. Warsaw, Poland, Springfield, Virginia 22151.

Szweykowscy, Jerzy, Alicja (eds.) 2003: Słownik botaniczny. [Botanical dictionary] (ed. 2). Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna. ISBN: 83-214-1305-6.

The plant list. A working list of all plant species 2019: Available online (22.01.2019): http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-214231/.

Trinidad pride 2020: Available online (4.03.2020): https://newsday.co.tt/2018/12/16/trinidad-pride/.

TROPICOS 1995–2020: [continuously updated]. Available online (28.10. 2019): http://www.tropicos.org/.

Turland, N.J.; Wiersema, J.H.; Barrie, F.R.; Greuter, W.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Herendeen, P.S.; Knapp, S.; Kusber, W.-H.; Li, D.-Z.; Marhold, K.; May, T.W.; McNeilL, J.; Monro, A.M., Prado, J., Price, M.J.; Smith, G.F. 2018: International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Shenzhen Code). Regnum Vegetabile 159. Glashütten: Koeltz Botanical Books. Available online (17.11.2020) https://doi.org/10.12705/Code.2018.

Turner, I.M. 2019: Warszewiczia and sixteen other names in the Rubiaceae authored by J. C. Klotzsch: when and where were they published? Willdenowia 49, pp. 151–154. Available online (17.11.2020): https://doi.org/10.3372/wi.49.49203.

Vahl, Martin 1791: Symbolae botanicae, sive Plantarum, tam earum, quas in itinere, inprimis orientali, collegit Petrus Forskål, quam aliarum, recentius detectarum, exactiores descriptiones, nec non observationes […]. Pars secunda. Hauniae [Copenhagen]: Nicolaus Möller et Filius.

Wróbel-Stermińska, Wanda 1966: W setną rocznicę śmierci Józefa Warszewicza [On the 100th anniversary of Józef Warszewicz death]. Hasło Ogrodniczo-Rolnicze 23(11), pp. 335–336.

Zemanek, Alicja 2000: Ignacy Rafał Czerwiakowski (1808–1882) Botanik. [In:] Alicja Zemanek (ed.), Uniwersytet Jagielloński. Złota Księga Wydziału Biologii i Nauk o Ziemi. Część I: Biografie uczonych. Universitas Iagellonica. Liber aureus Facultatis Biologico-Geographicae. Pars I: Virorum Doctorum Vitae.Kraków: Nakł. UJ, ISBN: 83-7188-322-8, pp. 37–43.

Zemanek, Alicja 2012/2013: Łowca roślin Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866) – w 200-lecie urodzin [Plant hunter Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866) – on the 200th anniversary of his birth]. Alma Mater 2012/2013 (152–153), pp. 43–46.

Ziobrowski, Stefan 1927: Rośliny nazwiskiem J. Warszewicza oznaczone. [Plants named after J. Warszewicz]. Ogrodnictwo 23(1), pp. 14–25.




How to Cite

Zemanek, A., Zemanek, B., Głuszak, T., & Nobis, M. (2021). Józef Warszewicz (1812–1866) and taxonomical history of Warszewiczia coccinea (Vahl) Klotzsch. Studia Historiae Scientiarum, 20, 601–625. https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.21.017.14048