Pittier, Henri, 1857-1950

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Biographical History

Henri Pittier was a Swiss-born botanist, geographer, linguist, and ethnographer.  He was born in Bex, Switzerland on August 13, 1857. He graduated from University of Lausanne and attended University of Jena. Pittier moved to Costa Rica in 1887 to found and direct the country's first geographic institute, the Instituto Físico-Geográfico. Pittier served as a botanist for the USDA from 1904 to 1919. At age 62, he became the Director of the Commercial Museum in Caracas, Venezuela. He collected and studied the plants of Venezuela, and wrote "Manual de las Plantas Usuales de Venezuela." Pittier passed away in 1964.


  • Pittier, Henrí François (1857-1950). In JStor Plant Science. Accessed March 26, 2012 from http://plants.jstor.org/person/bm000006567.
  • Dwyer, John D. (1973). “Henri Pittier's Botanical Activity in Panama.” Taxon. 22 (5/6) 557-576. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1218631 .

Related entities

  • Instituto Físico-Geográfico de Costa Rica: He founded and directed the Instituto Físico-Geográfico.
  • United States Dept. of Agriculture: Pittier served as a botanist for the US Department of Agriculture from 1904 to 1919.

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