John Hutchinson (botanist)

John Hutchinson ( born April 7, 1884 in Wark on Tyne, Northumberland, † September 2, 1972 in Kew ) was an English botanist. Its official botanical author abbreviation is " Hutch. ".

Life and work

Hutchinson was the son of a gardener and followed in the footsteps of his father. In 1904 he accepted a position as a gardener in London's famous Kew Gardens, where he met its director Joseph Dalton Hooker and could work in the herbarium in the sequence.

For the later volumes of the continuation of work begun in 1868 Flora of Tropical Africa by Daniel Oliver he worked, partly in collaboration with co-authors, " Euphorbiaceae " ( 1911-1913, together with NE Brown and David Prain, in Volume 6 (1)), " Moraceae " (1916-1917, together with Alfred Barton Rendle, in Volume 6 ( 2) ) and " Myricaceae " (1917 ).

In 1926 he published the first, and in 1934 the second part of his work "The Families of Flowering Plants"; in the first he treated while the dicots and monocots in the second. His taxonomy according phylogenetics counts among the earliest of its kind today, however, the work is considered taxonomically largely obsolete.

About the same time, from 1927 to 1936, he worked with John McEwan Dalziel on " Flora of West Tropical Africa ," a comprehensive work about 6000 species with detailed descriptions and numerous illustrations.

Hutchinson made ​​two botanical trips to South Africa, the first from August 1928 to April 1929, the second from June to September 1930.

From 1936 until his retirement in 1948 he was keeper of the Museum of Kew Gardens. In 1959 he published a revised edition of his "Families " (see plant growth forms ) in which he undertook a fundamental taxonomic separation between herbaceous and woody plants. This approach - the he continued in his 1964 appearing three-volume "The Genera of Flowering Plants" - led to far-reaching rejection of his late work by the experts.

Hutchison was in 1947 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. 1965 Linnean Medal of the Linnean Society of London awarded him.


  • The Families of Flowering Plants. 1926 and 1934 (2nd edition 1959, 3rd edition 1973).
  • The Genera of Flowering Plants. From 1964 to 1967.
  • Key to the families of flowering plants of the world. In 1967.
  • Common wildflowers., 1945.
  • More common wildflowers. In 1948.
  • Uncommon wildflowers., 1950.
  • A Botanist in Southern Africa. London 1946.
  • Evolution and phylogeny of flowering plants. Dicotyledons: .... In 1969.


  • Robert Zander, Fritz Encke, Günther Buchheim, Siegmund Seybold (eds.): Handbook of Plant Names. 13th edition. Ulmer Verlag, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-8001-5042-5.