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Biography: August Karl Joseph Corda   PDF  Print  E-mail 
Posted by Susan Lillard  
Sunday, 03 October 2004

  • 1809 born in Reichenburg, Bohemia
  • 1835 appointed director of the Bohemian National Museum, in Prague (later the Prague National Museum).
  • 1848 embarks on a collecting expedition to the wild Texas coast.
  • 1849 dies when his ship goes down in the Gulf of Mexico.

D?rfelt & Heklau say that it was through the assistance of Krombholz that the destitute Corda was allowed to study medicine (presumably at the University of Prague, where Krombholz was on the faculty).

Corda's books are important for the study of early mycology. His Icones has lovely drawings of many fleshy fungi ; it also includes drawings of setae, and the giant cystidia of Coprinus micaceus, but his microscope doesn't seem to have had the resolution to get smaller features accurately.

According to Ramsbottom (1953) , Corda claimed that he gave a talk in 1832 presenting basidia to the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, but they would not accept his work. He published some of the drawings from that talk in Corda (1839) . Also, according to Lloyd Corda, as a matter of fact, was the next man to work with hypogaeal fungi after Vittadini, and he named and figured (crudely) several of them. He sent them to Berkeley and Berkeley sent them to Tulasne, and between the two they managed to get rid of most of Corda's names. Lloyd March 1925, p. 74

The result of his Texas trip makes him one of the few mycologists to die while collecting fungi. Lloyd notes: "It was supposed his [Texas] collections were lost also, but there are in the museum at Berlin. . . a few fungi collected in Texas not marked from Corda, as I remember, but surely from him. " It is not clear how the fungi got to Berlin; he must have sent some collections overland, before his ship went down. Lloyd says that the drawing of Corda was (in 1922) in the possession of Mattirolo, who told Lloyd its provenance, but Lloyd forgot it.



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