Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
A trained gardener and nurseryman, Fitzalan came to Victoria in 1849, moving to Queensland in 1859. He was botanical collector on Lieutenant J.W.Smith's 1860 expedition to the north-eastern coast, which resulted in the establishment of Bowen. Fitzalan collected 130 specimens on this expedition. He later settled at Bowen, moving to Cairns in 1887. He sent material to Mueller over many years, and many of his collections are cited by Bentham. His herbarium is in MEL.
Source: extracted from: A.E.Orchard (1999) A History of Systematic
Botany in Australia, in Flora of Australia Vol.1, 2nd ed.,
ABRS. [consult for source references]
Portrait Photo: Maiden, J.H. (1921) Records of Australian Botanists, J. Proc. Roy. Soc. NSW, Vol. LV, Plate VIII
Fitzalan remains a somewhat enigmatic individual, with speculation about his childhood, ancestry and education in Ireland. Apart from a few details that Fitzalan himself provided during his lifetime, no documentation has been traced about his early life.
Eugene Fitzalan came to Australia from Ireland about 1849. His first significant appointment as a botanical collector was on the Queensland Government's expedition to investigate the estuary of the Burdekin River in 1860, commanded by Joseph W. Smith RN on the Schooner Spitfire.
Fitzalan was engaged as a plant collector by Ferdinand Mueller, the Government Botanist for the Colony of Victoria. Following the Burdekin Expedition of 1860, Fitzalan became a pioneer settler in 1861, at the newly proclaimed township of Bowen (Port Denison) from where he undertook collecting excursions to Mount Dryander, Mount Elliot, Townsville, Cairns, Daintree River and Cooktown, whilst establishing and managing a seed and plant nursery business. He was a contemporary and/or collecting companion of F.M.Bailey, Charles Weldon Birch, Edward Bowman, John Dallachy, Amalie Dietrich, Stephen Johnson, Walter Hill, Frederick Kilner, L.G. Nugent and Walter Froggatt.
Fitzalan moved to Cairns in 1886, and became active in the initial development of the Cairns Municipal Botanical Reserve, the site of the future heritage-listed Cairns Botanic Gardens.
Fitzalan's collections number to about 2200 herbarium specimens. This number places him in the top five most productive collectors in Queensland for the 1860–1900 period. His specimens were initially dispatched to Ferdinand Mueller in Melbourne, and most are now conserved in the National Herbarium of Victoria [MEL]. A small number of specimens and duplicates are conserved in other Australian and international herbaria, including BM, BR, BRI, FI, G, HAL, K, NSW, U and W. About 90 of Fitzalan's collections are relevant to typification, and he is eponymously connected to at least 12 taxa, of which five are the currently used names. As well as examining Fitzalan's primary plant collecting activities, this work provides a broad biographical background and assesses his horticultural contributions.
Source: extracted from; John Leslie Dowe (2015), 'I saw a good deal of the country much more than any other collector - An assessment of the botanical collections of
Eugene Fitzalan (1830–1911)', Cunninghamia 15: 2015
PDF link: https://d1nu2wha2fqaui.cloudfront.net//RoyalBotanicGarden/media/RBG/Science/Cunninghamia/Volume%2015%20-%202015/Cun15dow087.pdf
2,162 records listed