Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Botanist, b. at Belgrade, 5 November, 1728; d. at Klagenfurt, 17 March, 1805. He was the son of the Austrian lieutenant field-marshal, Christian Friedrich von Wulfen. On completing his studies at Kaschau, Hungary, he joined the Jesuit Order in 1745, and resided as student and teacher (chiefly of mathematics and physics ) at Vienna, Graz, Neusohl, Gorz, Lailbach, and (from 1764) Klagenfurt. After the suppression of the Jesuits in 1764 he remained at Klagenfurt until his death. The monument erected to him in 1838 describes him as "equally great as priest, scholar and man ". From his twenty-second year he devoted himself with special zeal to botany. His unusual talents, his great exactness in observation and description, and his researches, carried on tirelessly for over fifty years, constitute him one of the leading botanists of the post-Linnaean epoch (the last third of the eighteenth century). He was a member of the academies or scientific societies of Berlin, Erlangen, Göttingen, Jena, Klagenfurt, Ratisbon, and Stockholm, and enjoyed a high repute with botanists of all lands, with whom he carried on an extensive correspondence in Latin, German, French, and other languages. The upland and valley flora of the Eastern Alps was his chief study. An excellent alpinist, he was the pioneer in disclosing and exploring the Austrian Alps. He made numerous trips to the south (on many occasions to the Adriatic Sea) and to the north as far as Holland. He was always collecting plants, phanerogamous and cryptogamous (especially lichens). He discovered many new species, of which he gave masterly descriptions in Latin and which he illustrated with excellent plates. The specific name "Wulfenii" was given to many plants in his honour, and N. Jacquin founded the genus "Wulfenia", which is still a botanical curiosity. The mineral Wulfenite (yellow lead ore) recalls his mineralogical studies and rich mineral collection. He published mineralogical, zoological, and botanical treatises in various periodicals and collections. Much of his literary work was printed only after his death, for example, he chief work "Flora, norica phanerogama" (Vienna, Lex. 8vo, 816 pp.), edited by Fenzl and Graf with a detailed biography of Wulfen as introduction, which was published only in 1858. The full list of his treatises and the rich literature dealing with him is given by Wurzbach.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:32--5:8
32 Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:10-17
10 One Sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues,11 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2016 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was ... Read More