Henri Nyst (1780-1846)

Nyst was born in Maestricht in 1780 and began a career in city administration. During his free time he keenly collected plants and insects. In 1810, when Augustin Pyramus de Candolle travelled in the Netherlands, Nyst had the opportunity to meet him. The famous botanist would soon help to get a better job which was associated with several changes of cities. He came near to the peak of his administrative career in 1822, in Brussels. There he mingled with the naturalist milieu of the Southern capital of the Netherlands, and even collaborated in the foundation of the Linnean Society of Brussels. When the director of the local botanic garden died in 1823, Nyst took over the job. In 1826, he published the first catalog of the Brussels’ botanic garden ever. That very same year, the Société Royale d’Horticulture des Pays-Bas was born and the company launched the project of a new modern botanic garden for Brussels. When Nyst personal herbarium was rediscovered in the years 1850, it was bought by the aforesaid company, thanks to Henri Galeotti.

by Dr. Denis Diagre

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