|Anders Fredrik Regnell
Department of Phanerogamic Botany
Swedish Museum of Natural History (S)
The Swedish physiscian and botanist
Anders Regnell was born in 1807 in Stockholm as the
son of the unmarried servant-woman Brita Persdotter and coachman
When the father married the widow of an Inn-keeper, the young boy moved in with
them. Although economically well off,
the father and the step-mother were very busy
tending to the public house, and no real family life was offered the boy.
At the age
of seventeen, Regnell passed his matriculation exam and started medical
school. His main interest in life was botany, which he was tought
by his teacher in
Uppsala, Göran Wahlenberg, who was "in cathedra Linnaeana tertius". Regnell graduated
in 1837 and left Sweden
for Brazil in 1840 because he suffered from weak health due to
haemorrhage of the lungs. Evidently, he recovered somewhat already during
to South America, and after passing an exam at the Faculty of Medicine in
Rio de Janeiro, he started off to the small village
of Caldas in the province of Minas
Geraes, 1200 meters above sea level, where he lived until his death in 1884.
Thanks to his solid education
and clinical experience, Regnell soon
had a lucrative practice. He acquired real estate and coffee
plantations, and increased his fortune.
Regnell was a recluse and a bachelor, but several people
lived for long periods as his
guest at Caldas. Many were visiting botanists who made large and important collections that
were deposited in the
Apart for a large number
of species, three genera have been named in his honour, viz. Regnellia (Orchidaceae),
Neoregnellia (Sterculiaceae), and Regnellidium (Marsiliaceae).