S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Monteiro, Mrs Rose (natural history)

Born: 1840, London, United Kingdom.
Died: 1898, London, United Kingdom.

Rose Monteiro (born Bassett) was married to the distinguished Portuguese mining engineer, colonial official and naturalist Joachim John Monteiro* and shared his interest in natural history. She collected with him in Angola during the early eighteen-seventies. In 1876 she and her husband settled in Lourenco Marques (now Maputo, Mozambique), where he died two years later. They collected plants in the neighbourhood of the town, sending herbarium specimens to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, near London. She also derived an income from collecting and selling zoological and botanical specimens to collectors in Europe.

Rose returned to Mozambique in 1885 to collect insects and complete her husband's botanical work. Among others she discovered the plant Stapelia longidens. Roland Trimen* of the South African Museum, Cape Town, in the preface to his book South African butterflies... (1887-1889), acknowledged Rose for presenting him with an interesting series of butterflies from Delagoa Bay (now Baia De Maputo), with some good sketches and notes. For a period of five years from 1885 she made notes of her daily experiences. These formed the basis of an entertaining and well-illustrated book, Delagoa Bay - its natives and natural history (London, 1891, 274 pp). The book was dedicated to her brother, the chemist Henry Bassett. However, the naturalist H.A. Junod* was critical of its scientific accuracy. The species Aloe monteiroae was named after her by Baker in 1889.


List of sources:

Crouch, N.R. et al. Winter-flowering maculate aloes from the Lowveld of south-eastern Africa: Notes on Aloe monteiroae …. Bradleya, 2015, Vol. 33, pp. 147-155. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283302903_Winter-flowering_maculate_aloes_from_the_Lowveld_of_southeastern_Africa_Notes_on_Aloe_monteiroae_Baker_Asphodelaceae_Alooideae_the_earliest_name_for_Aloe_parvibracteata_Schonland on 2018-11-13.

Harries, P. Field sciences in scientific fields: entomology, botany and the early ethnographic monograph in the work of H.A. Junod. In S. Dubow (ed.), Science and society in southern Africa (pp. 11-41). Manchester University Press, 2000.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Rosenthal, E. Southern African dictionary of national biography. London: F. Warne, 1966.

Trimen, Roland. South African butterflies: A monograph of the extra-tropical species (3 vols). London: Truebner & Co., 1887-1889.

White, A. & Sloane, B.L. The Stapeliae (2nd ed., Vol. 1, p. 118). Pasadena, 1937.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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