Flora de la Region del Parque Nacional Amboro

~ History of Collections ~

Historical Collections

There were five important historical collectors in the Flora area.

Carl Ernst Otto Kuntze (1843–1907) travelled from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz de la Sierra in May of 1892, travelling approximately along what is now the “old road” between these two cities; these collections are merely labelled “Sierra de Santa Cruz” along with an altitude. His herbarium was purchased by the New York Botanical Garden, where almost all of the specimens cited by him have been located. After a few weeks in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Kuntze travelled to “Yapacaní” probably a locality on the Río Yapacaní now called Puerto Gutiérrez at 17°11'S, 63°57'30". Kuntze evidently collected all the way along his trip and some of the plants from “Yapacaní” were actually from the savanna areas between Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Buena Vista and so are not technically from the Flora area. Prosopis kuntzei Harms, the spiny tree from the arid interandean valleys and Rhynchospora kuntzei C. B. Clarke from the rain forests of Yapacaní were named in his honor.

Theodor Carl Julius Herzog (1880–1961) also travelled the “old highway” from Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Cochabamba, but in the other direction and in 1912; he also was the first to collect on Cerro Amboró itself. His collections were given exact localities. Numerous species have been named after him, such as Anemia herzogii Rosenst., Rollinia herzogii R. E. Fries, Senna herzogii (Harms) Irwin & Barn., Aegiphila herzogii Mold., Zexmenia herzogii Hassl. His collections are deposited in European herbaria.

The Steinbach family.
     José Steinbach lived in Buena Vista where he made natural history collections to sell to museums around the world. His botanical collections are copious, well-prepared, and with excellent information. More than 30 species have been dedicated to him, such as Aegiphila steinbachii Mold., Guatteria alutacea Diels var. steinbachii R. E. Fries, Porcelia steinbachii (Diels) R. E. Fries, Sorocea steinbachii C. C. Berg, and Miconia steinbachii Markgraf. A large number of his collections from “Buena Vista” are not cited here, since they may have been collected to the north or east of the technical Flora area. However, they have been of inestimable value in understanding the plants of the region.

     A grandson, Roy F. Steinbach, collected excellent sets of specimens in the 1960’s, some of them from the Buena Vista area as well as places such as Hierba Buena and Comarapa.

Martín Cárdenas.
     Based in Cochabamba, this renowned Bolivian botanist made some collections in the Flora area, most especially among the family Cactaceae, among the wild potatoes, and other groups of special interest to him.

Contemporary Collectors

The current collectors centered in Santa Cruz de la Sierra are based at the Museo de Historia Natural “Noel Kempff Mercado” of the Universidad Autónoma “Gabriel René Moreno”, and are too numerous to mention. Several have been especially important, Ing. Mario Saldias P., Ing. Israel Vargas C. and Ing. Julio Balcázar.

The well known author and former director of the Jardín Botánico de Santa Cruz, Germán Coimbra S., has made some valuable collections in the area. He introduced Michael Nee to the flora of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and the surrounding regions.

Roberto Vásquez S. of Santa Cruz de la Sierra is responsible for providing a list of the family Orchidaceae which accounts for 10% of the entire flora.

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