Contributor : Paris Museum of Natural History
First name(s) : Pierre Jean Marie
Last name : Delavay
Life Dates : 1834 – 1895
Specification : Plant collector
Delavay was a French missionary, explorer and botanist.He might be the first Western explorer of the region which is now encompassed by the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas.
As a missionary for Foreign Missions of Paris he was sent to Yunnan in 1881.While in France,on a break from his duties, Delavay met the natural history collector and fellow missionary Pere Armand David, who had made his final collecting expedition in China in the 1870s.David encouraged Delavay to continue his collecting work and send specimens to the Paris Museum of Natural History.
Delavay was an avid plant collector, sending over 200,000 herbarium specimens back to France, from which numerous new genera and over 1,500 new species were described, many by Adrien Rene Franchet of the Paris Museum of Natural History.Delavay is commemorated in the names of several plants, including Delavay’s Fir Abies delavayi, Delavay’s Magnolia Magnolia delavayi and Delavay’s Peony Paeonia delavayi.In 1895 he finally succumbed to his illness, and died in Yunnan province aged 61.