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Who is Pieter Korthals?

Who is Pieter Korthals?

Pieter Korthals was a Dutch botanist who extensively worked in the Southeast Asian region. Even now, people still acknowledge and value the contributions he made to botany and natural history. Korthals was born in Amsterdam in the year 1807 and lived on till 1892, when he passed away in Batavia, or presently Jakarta. He has numerous contributions to this field but he was most popularly known for his contribution to the flora of Southeast Asia. His full name was Pieter Willem Korthals and he was appointed as the official botanist of the botanical garden in Buitenzorg (now Bogor), which was established by the Dutch East India Service in 1831. As the official botanist, he spent a couple of years in the region, exploring the flora and consequently, he collected as well as described numerous new plant species.

Pieter Korthals history

As per Pieter Korthals history, Korthals was born in Amsterdam in 1807. His early years are hardly documented, although it is assumed that he had a decent education in botany as well as natural history. Since he was an official botanist of the Dutch East India Service, he got the opportunity to travel to different parts of the Dutch East Indies or presently, Indonesia. And by doing so, he got to gather and discover plant specimens.

Pieter Korthals work

Pieter Korthals work is considered with respect, so much so that the Korthalsella species is named after him. He contributed significantly to botany and produced a number of books and articles on the discipline. The botanist produced works like Verhandelingen over de natuurlijke geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche bezittingen door de Leden der Natuurkundinge commissie in Indië en andere Schrijvers (1842), Observationes de Naucleis indicis (1839), Over het geslacht Nepenthes (1839), and Overzigt der Rubiaceën van de Nederlandch-Oostindische Kolonien (1850-1851). While spending his time in the Dutch East Indies, he was particularly interested in plants like Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. During the many expeditions of botanist Pieter Korthals, he described new plant species. One of his biggest discoveries was the plant Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa). However, apart from that, he has also described the clove tree named Syzygium aromaticum and the coffee plant Coffee liberica. It is important to note that Korthals was not only a botanist, but he also had a role in running the Dutch East India Service. He oversaw the company’s crops as well as other business ventures while working as the official botanist in Batavia (now Jakarta).

Where was Pieter Korthals from?

Pieter Korthals was from the Netherlands. He was born in Amsterdam in the year 1807. The famous botanist spent much of his life working in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). By staying in the region, he got the opportunity to explore the flora of the region and most importantly, collected plant specimens.

Botanist Pieter Korthals

Botanist Pieter Korthals is revered for his immense contributions to the field. P. W. Korthals was born in 1807 and was the official botanist of the Dutch East India Service. Korthals’ most important discovery is that of the kratom plant, which has been around since the nineteenth century and is found in areas like Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and so on. Kratom products are now popular all over the world and specialty kratom products are getting recognized. However, it should be noted that there are chances of abuse of kratom, which is why careful attention to kratom is necessary while taking the kratom dose. While natural kratom products have countless benefits and have been used for centuries, it is always better to be safe with kratom consumption so as to avoid kratom dependence syndrome, in the long run. Intake of kratom can help with numerous medical conditions and numerous studies have pointed out the positive effects of kratom. Korthals’s discovery led to the curation of specialty kratom.

Pieter Korthals Discoveries

Pieter Korthals discoveries are considered to be revolutionary and transformative in the field of botany and even natural history, to some extent. He is regarded as one of the forerunners of the research of flora in Southeast Asian countries. Thanks to his many studies, there is now a better knowledge of the biodiversity and plant life of the region. Botanists and even other researchers have long used his studies for the advancement of the field of botany. Among his discoveries, the most known is the kratom plant. The plant is now gaining recognition across the world for its many benefits. However, apart from kratom, Korthals has also discovered the genus Nepenthes or carnivorous pitcher plants. In fact, he was the first one to describe or even name these plants. He extensively studied Nepenthes and described its species such as Nepenthes korthalsii or Nepenthes mirabilis. In addition, he has also described the clove tree named Syzygium aromaticum, which is used as a spice, and the coffee plant Coffee liberica, which is a famous coffee variety. What made Korthals such a famous botanist was the fact that he did not just study botany but a lot more than that. For instance, he wrote about the region’s natural history too, making him so respectable. It is because of his studies and discoveries that the field of botany, especially in Southeast Asian countries has been able to advance so much. The biodiversity in that region is massive and Korthals helped future researchers to make sense of how to go about studying it.


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Image source: http://gpi.myspecies.info/content/korthals-pw-0

Todd A. Underwood


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