August Johann Georg Karl Batsch (1761 - 1802) - a brief biography

August Johann Karl Batsch

German naturalist and mycologist August Johann Georg Karl Batsch was born in Jena, Saxe-Weimar and studied at the city school and then the University of Jena. After obtaining a doctorate in medicine (as so many of the early mycologists did), Batsch taught medicine at the same university, and in 1792 became Professor of Philosophy, pursuing an interest in botany and mycology, subjects that were not separated in those early days of scientific mycology.

Although he continued to find, study and describe many new bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). ferns and flowering plants, Batsch became recognised particularly as an authority on fungi, and mushrooms in particular. He discovered and described scientifically nearly 200 new fungi species - see, for example, Small Stagshorn Calocera cornea, Clouded Funnel Clitocybe nebularis, Funeral Bell Galerina marginata, and Velvet Rollrim Tapinella atrotomentosa - just a few of the many fungi which are still recognised by the specific epithets given to them by Batsch.

The standard author abbreviation Batsch is used to indicate August Johann Georg Karl Batsch as the author when citing a botanical/mycological name.

Published Works

Batsch wrote on many biological, botanical and mycological topics including plant diseases caused by fungi. Two of his most important works are:

Elenchus Fungorum (Discussion of Fungi), written between 1783 and 1789.

Versuch einer Anleitung zur Kenntniss und Geschichte der Pflanzen (An attempt at Instruction in the Knowledge and History of Plants), written between 1787 and 1788.

Selected Sources:

Heinrich Dörfelt & Heike Heklau (1998) Die Geschichte der Mykologie (The Story of Mycology)

International Plant Names Index

Fascinated by Fungi, 2nd Edition, Pat O'Reilly 2016, reprinted by Coch-y-bonddu Books in 2022.

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