The botanical legacy of Thomas Hardwicke’s journey to Srinagar in 1796

  • Ian M. Turner Research Associate, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Richmond, Surrey
Keywords: India, Himalayas, James Edward Smith, lectotype, Thomas Hardwicke, William Roxburgh


In 1796, Thomas Hardwicke travelled through northern India between what is now Fatehgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Srinagar in Uttarakhand. Hardwicke collected and described plants encountered and had many of the plants illustrated from life. He published an account of the journey in 1799 including a list of plant species. I review the names validated in the original paper, and also those published subsequently by Sir James Edward Smith and William Roxburgh based partly or wholly on the material or drawings acquired by Hardwicke on the journey to Srinagar. The large collection of Hardwicke plant drawings now held in the British Library, and a smaller set in the Botany Library of the Natural History Museum, are considered in relation to the application and typification of plant names related to Hardwicke’s botanical exploration in India. The names of seven plant species were validly published in the 1799 paper (Androsace rotundifolia Hardw., Ficus laminosa Hardw., Justicia thyrsiformis Roxb. ex Hardw., Linum trigynum Roxb. ex Hardw., Lonicera quinquelocularis Hardw., Salvia integrifolia Roxb. ex Hardw. and Volkameria bicolor Hardw.), plus one new combination (Echites antidysentericus (L.) Roxb. ex Hardw.). As concluded by Britten more than a century ago, Ficus laminosa is the correct name for the fig variously referred to F. saemocarpa Miq. or F. squamosa Roxb. Smith based Rhododendron arboreum Sm. and Bignonia undulata Sm. on Hardwicke plants. At least a dozen Roxburgh names, including Crataegus integrifolia Roxb., Gardenia tetrasperma Roxb. and Morus serrata Roxb., are based, at least partly, on Hardwicke’s collections. In total, 23 names are lectotypified here and one neotype is designated.


Abdulla P. 1972. Linaceae. In: Nasir, E. & Ali, S.I. (eds) Flora of West Pakistan 21: 1–6. Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi.

Anonymous 1839. List of additions made to the collections in the British Museum in the year MDCCCXXXV. Printed by order of the Trustees, London.

Archer M. 1962. Natural history drawings in the India Office Library. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London.

Britten J. 1906. Hardwicke’s botanical drawings. Journal of Botany, British and foreign 44: 235–241.

Corner E.J.H. 1960a. Taxonomic notes on Ficus Linn., Asia and Australasia. I. Subgen. Urostigma (Gasp.) Miq. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 17: 368–441.

Corner E.J.H. 1960b. Taxonomic notes on Ficus Linn., Asia and Australasia. V. Subgen. Ficus sect. Rhizocladus, Kalosyce, Sinosycidium, Adenosperma, and Neomorphe. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 18: 1–35.

Daniel P. 1991. Names validated in Rottler’s “Botanical Obervations” of 1803. Taxon 40: 605–611.

Dawson W.R. 1946. On the history of Gray and Hardwicke’s Illustrations of Indian Zoology, and some biographical notes on General Hardwicke. Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History 2: 55–69.

Desvaux N.A. 1818. Observations sur les plantes des environs d’Angers. Fourier-Mame, Angers.

Dumortier B.C.J. 1822. Commentationes botanicae. Ch. Casterman-Dieu, Tournay.

Fischer C.E.C. 1932. The Koenig collection in the Lund Herbarium. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, Kew 1932: 49–76.

Fleming J. 1810. A catalogue of Indian medicinal plants and drugs, with their names in the Hindustáni and Sanscrit languages. Asiatick Researches 11: 153–196.

Ghora C. & Panigrahi G. 1984. Rosaceae: Genus—Prunus. In: Nair, N.C. (ed.) Fascicles of Flora of India 18: 1–44. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.

Gray J.E. 1830. Illustrations of Indian zoology; chiefly selected from the collection of Major-General Hardwicke F.R.S., L.S., M.R.A.S., M.R.I.A., &c., &c. Volume I. Treuttel, Wurtz, Treuttel, Jun. and Richter, London.

Gray J.E. 1833–1834. Illustrations of Indian zoology; chiefly selected from the collection of Major-General Hardwicke F.R.S., L.S., M.R.A.S., M.R.I.A., &c., &c. Volume II. Adolphus Richter and Co., London.

Green P.S. 1961. Studies in the genus Jasminum I: section Alternifolia. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 23 (3): 355–384.

Hardwicke T. 1799. Narrative of a journey to Sirinagur. Asiatick Researches 6: 309–381.

Hardwicke T. 1801. Narrative of a journey to Sirinagur. Asiatic Annual Register 1800: 244–277.

Hartley T.G. 1966. A revision of the Malesian species of Zanthoxylum (Rutaceae). Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 47 (3): 171–221.

Judd W.S. 1981. A monograph of Lyonia (Ericaceae). Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 62: 63–209.

Klotz G. 1963. Neue oder kritische Cotoneaster-arten II. Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Univerität Halle-Wittenberg, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe 12: 769–786.

Kruif A.P.M. de 1981. A revision of Holarrhena R.Br. (Apocynaceae). Mededelingen Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 81–2: 1–40.

Kumar A. & Panigrahi G. 1995. The family Rosaceae in India (Revisionary studies on Cotoneaster Medik.). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun.

Linnaeus C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Volume 1. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.

Mabberley D.J. 1980. A re-examination of the ‘Indian Catalogues’ with particular reference to Hortus Malabaricus. In: Manilal, K.S. (ed) Botany and History of Hortus Malabaricus: 80–110. Oxford & IDH Publishing, New Delhi.

Madden E. 1849. Supplementary notes to “The Turaee and outer mountains of Kumaon;”. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 18: 603–644.

McNeill J., Barrie F.R., Buck W.R., Demoulin V., Greuter W., Hawksworth D.L., Herendeen P.S., Knapp S., Marhold K., Prado J., Prud’homme van Reine W.F., Smith G. F., Wiersema J.H. & Turland N.J. (eds) 2012. International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants (Melbourne Code). Regnum Vegetabile 154. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein.

Moldenke H.N. 1981. Notes on the genus Holmskioldia (Verbenaceae). Phytologia 48: 313–356.

Panigrahi G. 1987. Echites antidysenterica (L.) Roxb. ex Fleming and Holarrhena antidysenterica (L.) Wall., validly published synonyms of Wallida antidysenterica. Taxon 36: 464–467.

Raper F.V. 1810. Narrative of a survey for the purpose of discovering the sources of the Ganges. Asiatick Researches 11: 446–563.

Rees A. 1814. The Cyclopaedia. Volume 26 section II. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, London.

Reichenbach H.G.L. 1837. Handbuch des natürlichen Pflanzensystems. Arnoldischen Buchhandlung, Dresden & Leipzig.

Rottler J.P. 1803. Botanische Bermerkungen auf der Hin- und Rückreise von Trankenbar nach Madras vom Herrn Missionair Rottler zu Trankenbar mit Anmerkungen von Herrn Professor C. L. Willdenow. Der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde Westphalens neue Schriften. Düsseldorf. 4: 180–225.

Roxburgh W. 1795–1820. Plants of the Coast of Coromandel. W. Bulmer & Co., London.

Roxburgh W. 1820. Flora Indica. First edition. Volume 1. Mission Press, Serampore.

Roxburgh W. 1824. Flora Indica. First edition. Volume 2. Mission Press, Serampore.

Roxburgh W. 1832a. Flora Indica. Second edition. Volume 2. W. Thacker & Co., Calcutta.

Roxburgh W. 1832b. Flora Indica. Second edition. Volume 3. W. Thacker & Co., Calcutta.

Ruiz H. & Pavon J. 1798. Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis. Volume 1. Gabrielis de Sancha, Madrid.

Salisbury R.A. 1796. Prodromus stirpium in horto ad Chapel Allerton vigentium. London.

Seemann B. 1862. Revision of the natural order Bignoniaceae. Annals and Magazine of Natural History ser. 3, 10: 29–33.

Smith J.E. 1804–1805. Exotic Botany. Two volumes. R. Taylor & Co., London.

Stokes J. 1812. A Botanical Materia Medica. Volume 1. J. Johnson & Co., London.

Trimen H. 1895. A Hand-Book to the Flora of Ceylon. Volume 3. Dulau & Co., London.

Turner I.M. 2013. Robinson a century on: the nomenclatural relevance of Roxburgh’s Hortus Bengalensis. Taxon 62: 152–172.

Wallich N. 1829. A numerical list of dried plants in the East India Company’s museum. Nos. 1–2153. East India Company, London.

Zandee M. & Kalkman C. 1981. The genus Rubus (Rosaceae) in Malesia. 1. Subgenera Chamaebatus and Idaeobatus. Blumea 27: 75–113.

How to Cite
Turner, I. M. (2015). The botanical legacy of Thomas Hardwicke’s journey to Srinagar in 1796. European Journal of Taxonomy, (108).