S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Keyser, Mr Gouarus de (plant collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Gouarus de Keyser, while on his way to the East around the year 1600, was the first person known by name who collected plants at the Cape of Good Hope. He dug up some bulbs there for his brother, Jacobus de Keyser, a wealthy merchant and plant lover of Wiesbaden, Germany. The event was recorded by Mathias de l'Obel, botanist to King James I of England, in an appendix to his Latin treatise, Matthiae de L'Obel... In G. Rondelletii... methodicam pharmaceuticam officinam amimadversiones..., published in London in 1605. Two of the species collected by de Keyser and illustrated in this work are identifiable as Haemanthus coccineus and Haemanthus rotundifolius (Fam. Amaryllidaceae).

List of sources:
Du Plessis, E.P. Botanical exploration in South Africa. In Cape Flora: Some of the lectures given on this theme at the University of Cape Town's Public Summer School, January-February 1972. University of Cape Town, Board of Extra-Mural Studies, 1972.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Compiled by: C. Plug