The University of North Carolina has to date
catalogued a single botanical specimen collected by Eugene Bourgeau. The specimen, the fungus Pestalozzia taphrinicola, was collected in
“Winnipeg Valley” in 1859 while Bourgeau was a
member of the British North American Exploring Expedition. All NCU’s fungi, including those collected
by Bourgeau, can be found at mycoportal.org
As NCU continues to catalog its collection it is
possible that we may find more specimens collected by Bourgeau. Other herbaria in North America which
curate Bourgeau’s mycological specimens include
Field Museum (F), Farlow Herbarium (FH), New York Botanical Garden (NY),
Purdue University (PUR), the United States National Fungus Collection (BPI),
and the University of Nebraska (NEB). The Herbarium of Kew Royal Botanic Garden
(K) has cataloged about 2 dozen vascular plants collected by Bourgeau in Canada, and the National Herbarium of Canada
(CAN) lists only a handful. According
to the Harvard Herbaria’s database of botanists, Bourgeau’s
types and herbarium are at Museum National d’Histoire
Naturelle (P), with additional material at
Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques
de la Ville de Geneve (G), Gray Herbarium (GH) and
Wikipedia (1, 2)
According to the Wikipedia page devoted to Bourgeau, he was a native of Brizon,
France. “As a young man he worked at
the botanical garden in Lyon, where his influences included Nicolas Charles Seringe and Claude Thomas Alexis Jordan. In 1843 he relocated to Paris where he was
hired by Philip Barker Webb as a herbarium assistant. In 1845-46 he collected plants for the
“Webb collection” in the Canary Islands.
He had previously been a botanical collector in Spain, North Africa
and the Canary Islands before joining the British North American Exploring
Expedition [also referred to as the “Palliser Expedition”] of western Canada
from 1857 to 1860. In Canada he
collected botanical specimens north of Lake Superior and areas around Lake
Winnipeg, also journeying down the Saskatchewan River and venturing into the
Rocky Mountains. Later expeditions
included two trips to Asia Minor (the Lycia region and the Pontic Mountains),
a journey to Spain and the Balearic Islands (1863), a scientific mission to
Mexico (1865-66), and in 1870, a trip to the island of Rhodes. The plant genus Bourgeau [sic; Bourgaea in the
Asteraceae] was named in his honor by Ernest Cosson. His name
is also commemorated with Mount Bourgeau [51.131944
latitude, -115.775278 longitude], a peak located in Banff National Park. Bourgeau did not
publish any botanical literature. He
reportedly was a terrible speller and grammarian.”1
in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
image from Wikipedia
Bourgeau was a member of the British North American
Exploring Expedition, which is also known as the Palliser Expedition for its
leader, John Palliser (1817-1887).
“The purpose of the expedition was to gather scientific information on
Rupert’s Land, including information on the geography, climate, soil, flora
and fauna, to discover its capabilities for settlement and transportation. This was the first detailed and scientific
survey of the region from Lake Superior to the southern passes of the Rocky
Mountains.”2 The Palliser
Expedition was comprised of John Palliser (geographer), James Hector
(geologist & surgeon), Eugene Bourgeau
(botanist), Thomas Wright Blakiston (magnetic
observer), and John W. Sullivan (mathematician & sextant observer).2
variant = Pestalozzia
collected by Eugene Bourgeau, curated by NCU
A list of the plants found by Bourgeau can be found on pages 253-263 of Palliser’s
report to Parliament, Palliser, John (1863)
Exploration – British North America: The journals, detailed reports, and
observations relative to the exploration, by Captain Palliser, of that
portion of British North American, which, in latitude, lies between the
British boundary line and the height of land or watershed of the northern or
frozen ocean respectively, and in longitude, between the western shore of
Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean during the years 1857, 1857, 1859, and
G. E. Eyre and W. Spottiswoode.
Several hundred plants were named in Eugene
Bourgeau’s honor by a variety of botanists – here
are just a few:
Cyperaceae: Scleria bourgeaui Boeckler “Bourgeau’s nutrush” The
holotype of this taxon was collected by Bourgeau
(#2740) in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico. An isotype is curated by US.
Thell. “Bourgeau’s pepperweed” (currently Lepidium fletcheri Rydberg)
Rosaceae: Rosa bourgeaui
Boeckler not currently accepted
Poaceae: Sorghum bourgeaui
(Hack.) Kuntze (currently Andropogon bourgaei Hack.)
Asteraceae: Bourgaea Coss.
Asteraceae: Bourgaea humilis Coss.
1. “Eugene Bourgeau,” Wikipedia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Bourgeau accessed on 24 May 2017.
2. “Palliser expedition,”
accessed on 24 May 2017.
3. “Mount Bourgeau,”
Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Bourgeau accessed on 24 May 2017.
of Botanists. Harvard University Herbaria & Library. http://kiki.huh.harvard.edu/databases/botanist_search.php?mode=details&id=47763 accessed on 24 May 2017.