by Delfina de Araujo

If we talk about Brazilian orchids, we need and we have to talk about Guido João Frederico Pabst.
Born in Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in 1914, he died in Rio de Janeiro, in l980, before he was 66 years old.
In a country where the literature about orchids, mainly about Brazilian ones, is very dispersal, Guido Pabst was a researcher who, besides publicizing at about 200 works, he gathered in two volumes, the information about all occurrences (registered until then) in Brazil. Although we know that there are some corrections to be done and some genera have been divided into other or some species have been migrated to other genera, this book goes on being the big reference to everyone concerned about Brazilian orchids.
He has done important surveys which, of course, served as base to his book.
About the state of Santa Catarina, in l960, he published a sequence of articles in the magazine "Orquídea", under the title "Contribution the knowledge of orchids of Santa Catarina and their geographical dispersion".
In the same year , he published in the same magazine, "New Contribution to the knowledge of the orchids of the Serra do Cachimbo".
In l966, he published, also in the same magazine, "Orchids of the state of " (Rio de Janeiro city), besides, he enumerated 37 species of the National Park of Chapada dos Veadeiros (former Parque Nacional de Tocantins)
Besides creating the bulletin "Bradea" and being an active collaborator of the magazine "Orquídea", he had his articles also published in some other periodic publications:
Orchid Journal, Arquivos do Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Arquivos do Jardim Botânico de São Paulo, Boletim do Impabo, Orchidee, Sellowia, Die Orchidee, Oreades, The Orchid Review, Orchid Digest and some others.
His first works dated from l950:
"Collecting orchids in Rio Grande do Sul", ORQUIDEA 12(4): 138-142 and
"Notes about Polystachya estrelensis" , ORQUIDEA 12(5): 167-169 and this intensive activity went on until l980, on the eve of this death when he had at about 200 articles already published.
According to his own definition, since he was very young, he had an innate inclination to systematic and could not just accept the names, he always wanted to know why a plant was Laelia, Cattleya or Brassavola. He could perfectly accept that many of his fellows could not understand his inclination to examine flowers, sometimes microscopic, to study its morphology, to compare one species to other, to establish genetic and specific differences. Pabst was greatly concerned about studying the species less known having in view to elucidate those considered critical and those which have almost just botanical interests as the great number of Brazilian orchids. For this, he made his studies using typus, isotypus and old collection obtained with the collaboration of the Botanical Institute of the State of São Paulo, as well as the Department of Botany of Natuurhistoriska Rijmuseet of Stockholm, Sweden.
In an article published in the magazine Orquídea (July-August l950) he discoursed on "the little area of action of my excursions and the exiguity of the time available for this activity.". In spite of this statement, there are reports of the botanical journeys he did through the country, as that he did to Minas Gerais, besides those he did to his home state, Rio Grande do Sul.
He used his spare time to do excursions in the woods of the surroundings woods of Rio de Janeiro city and in l950, he succeeded in gathering at about 500 species and different varieties.
  Physosyphon parahybunensis
During one of those excursions, he found Physosyphon parahybunensis described by Barbosa Rodrigues in 19th century. After that, no reference was found in the specialized literature.
Generous person, he always put his knowledge at the disposal of everyone who had an orchid to be identified.
In l958, he founded the Herbarium Bradeanum with the support of a group of botanists.
As all institutions of this kind in Brazil, the difficulties were great and due to his constant action at the authorities and governmental organizations and due to the financial support he brought when he supplied the money to pay expenses, the Herbarium subsisted.
Since l969 he began to publish a magazine called "Bradea" rendering homage to Alexandre Curt Brade with whom he studied systematic of orchids
He joined, in Brazil and in world, the main organizations concerned to Botany: Botany Museum of Harvard University, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Linnean Society of London, Organization of Neo-tropic Flora, Latin American Council of Orchidology, International Association for Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of Brazil, American Fern Society, Botanical Society of Mexico, Brazilian Society of Orchidophiles and many others.
Pabst had a dream: to dedicate himself entirely to the studies of orchids and to the Herbarium Bradeanum after retiring.
His main and next plan was to continue with Hoehne's work, studying the orchids that were not included in "Flora Brasílica". He had already obtained a granted-aided from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico for this (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development).
His death interrupted great projects.

His main work :
Returning to the past in the literature concerning the Brazilian species, we found as the first global work on Brazilian orchid the monograph by Alfred de Cogniaux, in Flora Brasiliensis of Martius. This monograph had Barbosa Rodrigues as collaborator who even provided his drawings and watercolors. Then, we found the studies done mainly by Rolfe, Porsch, Kraenzlin, Schlechter, Loefgren, Hoehne, Brade. Paulo de Campos Porto and Alexandre Curt Brade published a index of the new species and modifications occurred between 1907 and l932. Later Brade and Pabst updated this index until l950. In the decade of 40, the first four volumes of Flora Brasilica, by Frederico Carlos Hoehne, have been published, a mark in the Brazilian literature about orchids. Those works included almost the half part of all Brazilian Orchids. The aim of this work was to update Flora Brasiliensis, by Martius. The other volumes would be organized by Guido Pabst, Brieger and Bicalho, but, unfortunately, Pabst passed away before it.
However as the aim was to present a global work to represent all orchids of the country and as there was a great number of detached publications about this subject, Pabst bequeathed us "Orchidaceae Brasilienses", in two volumes written with F. Dungs, in l975.

This book, in fact, has been prepared in the course of many years of studies, with revision of the genera and species, according to the botanical rules, doing a survey about synonymies. The most rich genera in species have separated in sections in order to gathering species with common characteristics. All information he gathered, he carefully registered in individual cards which were the base of the book (almost 30.000 cards).
This work is richly illustrated by two of the greatest names in botanical illustration, the Brazilian artist Samuel Salvado and the English artist Margareth Mee

The species most outstanding species are illustrated and so the natural hybrids.
The black and white drawings, showing the dissected elements as usual, are made by him and Alexandre C. Brade

back to the summary