Friedrich Wilhelm Klatt, German teacher and botanist, managed a boys' school in Hamburg with his brother from 1854. After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 he taught natural science at various schools in Hamburg. Meanwhile he collected plants, initially around Hamburg and on the coast of the North Sea. Professor Lehman of the Hamburg Botanical Gardens became his mentor during the eighteen-fifties and invited him to organise and maintain the Lehman herbarium. Klatt published more than 40 botanical papers between 1856 and his death. Many of these dealt with the families Iridaceae and Compositae. Early in his career he published Norddeutsche anlagen flora... (Hamburg, 1865), a work on the flora of the duchy of Lauenburg (west of Hamburg), and another work on the cryptogams of Hamburg (1868). His papers on the Compositae (a family represented by two species of burs in South Africa) began to appear in the eighteen-seventies. He dealt with the Compositae of South Africa in the journal Linnaea in 1878-1879, and later with those of Guatemala (1887), Brazil (1892), Mexico (1893), Africa (1895), and other regions.
Klatt's revision of the family Iridaceae was published in Lineaea in 1863 and 1866, followed in 1882 by his additions and amendations to the Systema Iridacearum of J.G. Baker. He also contributed sections on Iridaceae to several other botanical works. One of his papers on this family, "Determination and description of Cape Irideae...", dealing with specimens chiefly collected by Mr Robert Templeman* and contained in the herbarium of P. MacOwan*, was published in the Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society (1881-1883, Vol. 3(2), pp. 196-205). The genus Klattia (fam. Iridaceae), was named after him by J.G. Baker. The genus includes three species and is endemic to the Western Cape. The University of Rostock conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Klatt in 1864, in recognition of his work on the family Iridaceae.