Wild, Hiram

Image 1

Photo: Peter Woodall
"Botanists afloat". It was taken on Lake Kariba, near the UR/UZ field research station at Sinamwenda in June 1972 during a 3rd year Botany field trip. On the boat, from L to R are: Tom Muller, Brian Walker, Hiram Wild and David Mitchell. At that time Tom was a 3rd Year student and the others were all on the staff of UR in the Botany Dept.

Drummond, R.B. (1988) An Appreciation: Hiram Wild (1917-1982) Kirkia 13(1) 2-10

List: records (132) | collections (132) | images (0) | determinations (16) | confirmations (3) made by Hiram Wild

The above links show records made of species which occur in Malawi. The actual records may have been made anywhere.

Map: records by QDS

General Information

Date of birth: 1917

Date of death: 1982


Hiram Wild was born on the 15th of March 1917, in Sheffield. After his graduation in 1945 (Ph. D in botany), he emigrated to Southern Rhodesia. As Systematic Botanist in the Dept. of Agriculture, he soon became in charge of the Southern Rhodesia Government Herbarium (SRGH).

In 1960 he founded Kirkia, the botanical journal of the National Herberium, and became its first editor. Together with A.W. Exell of the British Museum, he laid the foundation of the international Flora Zambesiaca project and co-edited several of the earlier volumes.

Prof Wild published a large number of botanical papers on almost every aspect of Zimbabwean botany, plant ecology, phytogeography and taxonomy. Many of these papers have been published in Kirkia, particularly the taxonomic revisions on genera in Asteraceae. (A comprehensive list of his publications can be found in Kirkia Volume 13 Part 1, page 7-10, 1988).

Hiram Wild was not only a productive botanical author and taxonomist, he also was an avid collector. Well over 8000 specimens were collected by him, mainly in Zimbabwe but also in Botswana, Caprivi, Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. Many of these specimens represented new species to science and the a few have been named in his honour (list below).

At the end of 1980, as his health began to fail, he left Zimbabwe and returned to England. He died in 1982 At the time of his death, he had just completed the descriptive portion of a revision of the genus Helichrysum. The keys were never finished and the unpublished manuscript appeared to have been forgotten until we accidentally came across it on the shelves of the National Herbarium library. Most of the Helichrysum descriptions in this system have been distilled from his work.

Plants named after Hiram Wild

Aloe wildii Aloaceae Aneilema wildii Merxm., now A. hockii Commelinaceae Aristida wildii Poaceae Buchnera wildii Scrophulariaceae Canthium wildii, now Psydrax livida Rubiaceae Clerodendrum wildii, now Rotheca wildii Lamiaceae Corallocarpus wildii Cucurbitaceae Cynoglossum wildii Boraginaceae Erica wildii Ericaceae Eriocaulon wildii Eriocaulaceae Euphorbia wildii Euphorbiaceae Hibiscus wildii, now Hibiscus ovalifolius Malvaceae Indigofera wildiana Fabaceae Kalanchoe wildii Crassulaceae Lobelia wildii, now Lobelia erinus Lobeliacae Lotus wildii Fabaceae Plectronia wildii, now Psydrax livida Rubiaceae Rhus wildii Anacardiaceae Rhynchosia wildii Fabaceae Rotala wildii, now Rotala lucalensis Lythraceae Vernonia wildii, nowVernonia bainesii subsp. wildii Asteraceae Waltheria wildii, nowWaltheria indica Asteraceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Person details: Wild, H.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/person-display.php?person_id=60, retrieved 19 July 2024

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