The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the years 1839-1843

Date

1844

Identifier

Special Collections QK47 HS37

Type

Publisher

London: Reeve Brothers

Abstract

Joseph Hooker was 22 years old when he joined Captain James Clark Ross on HMS Erebus, for what was the last ever sail-only voyage of discovery. Hooker’s role was to collect and describe the plant and algae species encountered as they sailed south through the Atlantic to the Southern Ocean to confirm the existence of Antarctica. Today, a botanist taking this journey would arrive home with memory cards full of digital images of plants with scientific names. Back then, Hooker was faced with largely undescribed and unfamiliar plants. The Flora of Antarctica is a monumental achievement. It still underpins the scientific names in use today, and for me its most impressive feature is the manner in which Hooker’s detailed observations capture the biology of the plants he discovered. His illustrations are exquisitely beautiful, and they are also botanically accurate to the tiniest detail. Importantly, Hooker’s Flora of Antarctica is a reminder that the discipline of accurate objective observation is a requirement of scientific understanding.
(Chosen by Dr Janice Lord, Department of Botany, Otago)

Files

Cab 11-hooker1.jpg

Citation

Joseph Dalton Hooker, “The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H.M. Discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the years 1839-1843,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed October 2, 2022, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/9936.