The Father of Paleobotany
January 6, 1761
Today is the birthday of the Bohemian theologian, mineralogist, geognost, entomologist, and botanist Kaspar Maria von Sternberg.
Remembered as one of the most important natural scientists of the first half of the 19th century, Kaspar is regarded as the "Father of Paleobotany.”
In 1818, Kaspar founded the National Museum in Prague.
Today, the botanical genus Sternbergia honors Kaspar Sternberg. Sternbergia is a genus of plants in the Amaryllis family and comprises eight recognized species of flowering bulbs that look like Crocus.
The most popular Sternbergia is the lutea, a garden favorite described by Clusius in 1601.
White Flower Farm describes Sternbergia lutea this way:
“These lovely, fall-flowering bulbs are Crocus look-alikes with bright yellow blooms. The foliage appears with the yellow flowers in fall and persists until spring. Bulbs multiply freely where they are happy—in a hot, sunny, very well-drained spot. Add a bit of lime to sweeten the soil, and planting will quickly fill out. Try pairing with one of the glorious blue flowers of fall, such as Caryopteris or Salvia, for a heavenly contrast. A member of the Amaryllis family, so the bulbs are essentially pest free, resistant to deer and voles. Heirloom, pre-1601. 10 per sq. ft.”