Pierre Edmond Boissier (25 May 1810 Geneva – 25 September 1885 Valeyres-sous-Rances) was a Swiss prominent botanist, explorer and mathematician. He was the son of Jacques Boissier (1784-1857) and Caroline Butini (1786-1836), daughter of Pierre Butini (1759-1838) a well-known physician and naturalist from Geneva. With his sister, Valérie Boissier (1813-1894), he received a strict education with lessons delivered in Italian and Latin. Edmond's interest in natural history stemmed from holidays in the company of his mother and his grandfather, Pierre Butini at Valeyres-sous-Rances. His hikes in the Jura and the Alps laid the foundation of his zest for later exploration and adventure. He attended a course at the Academy of Geneva given by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle.
Edmond Boissier collected extensively in Europe, North Africa and western Asia, on occasion accompanied by his daughter, Caroline Barbey-Boissier (1847-1918) and her husband, William Barbey (1842-1914), who collected in their own right for their Herbier Barbey-Boissier in Geneva. Edmond Boissier covered countries such as France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Balearic Islands, Switzerland, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Armenia, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. His specimens are held at the following herbaria: AK, AWH, B, BERN, BM, BORD, BP, BR, C, CAS, CGE, CN, DBN, E, E-GL, F, FABR, FI, FR, G, GE, GH, GOET, H, HAL, JE, K, KIEL, L, LAU, LE, LY, LZ, M, MA, MANCH, MICH, MO, MPU, OXF, P, P-CO, PH, PI, STR, TCD, TO, W, WAG, WB (see List of herbaria).
He was the first to describe Allochrusa, Sclerocephalus, Jancaea, Prolongoa, Psychrogeton, Heteroderis, Myopordon, Aphanopleura, Ammiopsis, Crenosciadium, Diplotaenia, Ducrosia, Margotia, Lisaea, Ormosciadium, Polylophium, Microsciadium, Rhabdosciadium, Smyrniopsis, Stenotaenia, Thecocarpus, Trigonosciadium, Rhizocephalus, Coluteocarpus, Diceratella, Didymophysa, Eremobium, Graellsia, Heldreichia, Nasturtiopsis, Parlatoria, Physoptychis, Tchihatchewia, Paracaryum, Podonosma, Dorycnopsis, Erophaca, Acantholimon, Goniolimon and many more plant genera and taxa.
List of selected publications
- The plant genus Boissiera and the plant taxa Pyrus boissieriana, Asperula boissieri, Haplophyllum boissieranum, Verbascum boissieri, Thymus boissieri, Trifolium boissieri, Convolvulus boissieri, Colchicum boissieri, Carthamus boissieri, Euphorbia boissieri, Cordia boissieri, Iris boissieri, the bacterium Acinetobacter boissieri, and the air-breathing land snails Sphincterochila boissieri, Aceria boissieri and the freshwater snail Bithynia boissieri are some species named after him.
- Boissiera is the title of a collection of systematic botany memoirs published by the Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève (CJB).