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Engelmann Georg

The German doctor and botanist Georg Theodor Engelmann (1809-1884) studied medicine in Heidelberg, Berlin and Würzburg, In 1832, Engelmann traveled to America on behalf of relatives for whom he was to search for suitable land. After traveling through Illinois. Missouri and Arkansas he settled in St. Louis (Missouri) in 1835 as a general practitioner and became a sought-after doctor due to his new methods. He dealt intensively with American botany and founded the continent's cactus science. In 1859 he published his extensively illustrated work "Cactaceae of the Boundary" with an overview of all North American cactus species known until then.

Later he dealt with agaves, oaks and conifers, among other things, and last but not least vines, In 1845 he first described the American wild grape species Vitis mustangensis, In 1880 he classified the species Vitis cinerea Engelm. ex. Millardet as a separate species, which is why it is also included in the botanical name. Of paramount importance for European winegrowing at the time of the phylloxera disaster at the time, Engelmann was the eminent and underestimated resistance of American vines against the phylloxera discovered and French scientists recommended American vines as document to use for the European varieties (by the way, others also had the idea). Together with Alexis Millardet, Jules Émile Planchon, Charles Valentine Riley and Pierre Viala he is considered the savior of viticulture from phylloxera.

Engelmann began studying nature in 1835. He observed the course and level of the Mississippi and expanded his meteorological observations to include air pressure, rainfall, humidity, cloudiness and wind conditions. The “Academy of Science of Saint Louis”, founded by him in 1856, of which he was the first president, developed into one of the most respected academies in the United States. He was a member of many academic academies and scholarly societies.

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