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Karl Von Martius

Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius "Karl von Martius" was born on April 17th, 1794 in Erlangen, Germany.

In 1817, von Martius was sent to Brazil by the Bavarian King.

In one of the most successful scientific expeditions of all time, Karl von Martius and J. B. von Spix spent the next four years travelling from Rio de Janeiro over São Paulo to Belém at the mouth of the Amazon, from where they went up the river by canoe.

Altogether, they traveled over  10,000 km and sent back over 3,500  collections of birds, insects, and other animals. Minerals and ethnographical artifacts were also collected. They became the foundations of the "Mineralogische Staatssammlung" (Bavarian State Collection of Minerals in Munich.

When he returned to Germany in 1821, von Martius began to publish up his results, publishing in short sequence "Nova genera et species plantarum, quas in itinere per Brasiliam ...collegit" (1824–1832, 3 volumes), "Icones selectae plantarum cryptogamicarum" (1827) and his opus magnus, the "Historia naturalis palmarum" (1823–1850).

Von Martius also went further and made essays on several characteristics of the Brazilian economy, medicine, and culture.

In 1840, he worked on his epic opus  "Flora brasiliensis". This collaborative effort of included over 60 authors. He worked on this bok until his death.

The book collection was completed by A. W. Eichler in Munich and later by I. Urban in Berlin Flora brasiliensis was completed in 1906.

The "Flora Brasiliensis"  remains the major reference work for taxonomists researching and developing Brazilian Flora. This epic work includes over 20,000 species. From these almost 6000 were newly described in the book.

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