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Philipp Franz von Siebold

(1796—1866)


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(1796–1866), German doctor and plant collector. Siebold was physician to the Dutch East India Company in 1826 stationed at Deshima, the tiny walled island in Nagasaki Harbour, Japan. Foreigners' movements were restricted, but as an eye surgeon specializing in cataracts Siebold was able to travel, which allowed him to collect plants and seeds, propagating them on the island. Siebold acquired maps during his travels, and having spent a year in prison was expelled in 1830 for espionage. However he took his collection of plants including Hosta plantaginea and H. sieboldiana, hydrangeas, Corylopsis spicata, and Fatsia japonica. Siebold established his collection in Ghent, and then later at Leiden where he specialized in Japanese plants. In collaboration with the botany professor at Munich J. G. Zuccarini (1797–1848), he wrote Flora Japonica. Siebold returned to Japan for three years in 1859 making new discoveries and returning with Spiraea thunbergii.

From The Oxford Companion to the Garden in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Lifestyle, Home, and Garden.