A plant collector in Anatolia in the first half of the XIXth century:
Rémi Aucher-Éloy (1793-1838)
Pierre Martin Rémi Aucher-Éloy (1793-1838) was a French pharmacist educated in Orléans and later in Paris. Passionate for collecting, he settled at Istanbul in 1830 with the aim of preparing a Herbier d'Orient. Using Istanbul as a base for his expeditions, he explored between 1830 and 1838 the following areas: In 1830 Egypt, Sinai, W.Syria, Cyprus, Cos; in 1832 İzmir, Rhode, coasts of W.Anatolia; in 1833 Istanbul, Bursa, Uludağ; in 1834 İznik, Ankara, Kayseri, Adana, Halep, Gaziantep, Malatya, Erzurum, Trabzon; in 1835 Bursa, Kütahya, mount Taurus, Adana, Halep, Baghdad, Ispahan, Tehran, Tabriz, Trabzon; in 1836 İzmir, Chios, Syra, Athens, Thessaly, Athos; in 1837-1838 N.E.Anatolia , Erzurum, foots of mount Ararat, Tabriz, Gilan, south coasts of Caspian sea, Laristan, Muscat, Shiraz, Ispahan. Exhausted and ill, he died at Djulfa near Ispahan on 6th October 1838.
He was selling his collections to the herbarium of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, from where they were distributed to other major herbaria. He also was financially supported by owners of private collections and by scientists.
The herbarium of Paris houses 3856 Turkish specimens of Aucher-Éloy (Lanjouw et Stafleu 1954). 3687 specimens were sent from Paris to the herbarium of Geneva between 1830 and 1839 (Jaubert 1843). Flora Orientalis (1867-1888) cites 2687 of his specimens (Boissier 1888). In Flora of Turkey (1965-2000), we find 418 specimens of Aucher-Éloy from Anatolia from which 303 are type specimens. Ghazanfar (1996) writes that up to 1837 the entire plant collections of Aucher-Éloy in Paris summed up to over 3800 specimens and that the collection of his last excursion comprises about 2000. The total number of Aucher-Éloy specimens from Orient may be then evaluated to ca. 6000.
The collections of Aucher-Éloy are distributed to 11 herbaria, one of which is in U.S.A. Its Turkish specimens are housed in FI, G, K?, LE, MO, OXF, F, TCD. With his rich collection from the Near East and ca. 300 type specimens from Anatolia, Aucher-Éloy has much contributed to the flora of Turkey and that of the Near East.
Key words: Anatolian plants, Aucher-Éloy, botanical expeditions, flora of Turkey, history of botany, travelers; Anahtar kelimeler: Anadolu bitkileri, Aucher-Éloy, botanik geziler, botanik tarihi, gezginler, seyyahlar, Türkiye florası.