Rydberg, Per Axel, 1860-1931

Alternative names
Birth 1860-07-06
Death 1931-07-25

Biographical notes:

Per Axel Rydberg (1860-1931) was born in Sweden on July 6, 1860, and immigrated to the United States in 1882. He first worked in the iron mines in Michigan, and hoped he could become a mining engineer, but after an accident he was left with a limp and could not continue that work. From 1884-1890 he taught mathematics at the Luther Academy in Wahoo, Nebraska. In 1891, he received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska. He then worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He undertook the botanical exploration of western Nebraska and went on another exploration in 1892 to explore the Black Hills of South Dakota. In 1895, he received his Master's degree and went on to New York to get his PhD at Columbia University. He was employed by the New York Botanical Garden and processed the collections obtained from Montana and Yellowstone Park expeditions. In 1904, he became curator of the Herbarium until his death in 1931.

Smithsonian Institution Archives Field Book Project: Person : Description : rid_529_pid_EACP526

Per Axel Rydberg (1860-1931) was a plant taxonomist specializing in the flora of the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains areas. He was the first Curator of the Herbarium (1908-1931) at the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), having joined the staff in 1899 as the first Assistant Curator. He was a member of the first field expedition organized by the NYBG in 1897, collecting in Montana and Yellowstone Park. Rydberg was born in Sweden and emigrated to Michigan in 1882. He studied at the University of Nebraska under Charles Edwin Bessey. From 1884-1890 he taught mathematics at the Luther Academy in Wahoo, Nebraska. In 1895 he began his studies at Columbia University under Nathaniel Lord Britton. He taught at Upsala College in Brooklyn and Kenilworth, N.J. He made numerous field trips in partnership with Erns Athearn Bessey, Albert Osbun Garrett, John Tuttle and King Vreeland.

From the description of Per Axel Rydberg records, 1898-1929. (New York State Historical Documents). WorldCat record id: 155483577

From the description of Per Axel Rydberg records 1898-1929. (New York Botanical Garden). WorldCat record id: 42396274


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  • Natural history
  • Botany
  • Cinquefoils
  • Ecology
  • Vetch


  • Mycologists
  • Botanists


  • North America (as recorded)
  • Rocky Mountains (as recorded)
  • Rocky Mountains (as recorded)
  • Colorado (as recorded)