, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 1–20 | Cite as

Plant collecting along the lower Orinoco, Venezuela: H. H. Rusby and R. W. Squires (1896)

  • Laurence J. Dorr


The plant collecting trip by H. H. Rusby and R. W. Squires in early 1896 to the lower Río Orinoco, Venezuela, was sponsored by The Orinoco Company Limited, which was promoted by many residents of Faribault, Rice Co., Minnesota, U.S.A. In February 1896, the company formed an exploring party in order to map a large concession of approximately 10,000,000 acres that they had received from the Venezuelan government and to prospect the mineral deposits, study the vegetation, and ascertain the conditions affecting colonization of the concession. The botanical work was entrusted to Rusby, who with the assistance of Squires and an unnamed laborer from Trinidad, collected almost 500 numbers of vascular plants in sets as large as thirty-two. Rusby indicated that he spent only 51 days in the field and lost a week of that time to an accident that befell the explorers. He was less constrained than the Minnesotans (who were promoting development), and he wrote that botanical exploration was hampered also by the inundation of the forests and savannahs with each tide, the lack of trails, and the large numbers of annoying insects and poisonous snakes. An annotated catalog of 43 new taxa of vascular plants based on Rusby and Squires's collection is provided. Lectotypes are designated forTachigalia rusbyi Harms (Fabaceae),Cupania semidentata Radlk. (Sapindaceae), andSolanum sacupanense Rusby (Solanaceae). A gazetteer of the localities cited in Rusby's field book and in publications pertaining to the Orinoco trip is appended.

Key words

Henry Hurd Rusby (1855–1940) Roy White Squires (fl. 1896–1932) Vanezuela Río Orinoco 


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence J. Dorr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanySmithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCU.S.A.

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