Kaspar Maria von Sternberg

Count Kaspar Maria von Sternberg (also: Caspar Maria, Count Sternberg, German: Kaspar Maria Graf Sternberg, Czech: hrabě Kašpar Maria Šternberk), 1761, Prague – 1838, Březina Castle), was a Bohemian theologian, mineralogist, geognost, entomologist and botanist. He is known as the "Father of Paleobotany".[citation needed]. His parents were Count Johann Nepomuk von Sternberg and Countess Anna Josefa Kolowrat-Krakowsky.

Kaspar Maria von Sternberg
A tall man in a suit sits in his study
1838 painting of Sternberg by Alexander Clarot
Kaspar Maria von Sternberg

Died1838 (aged 76–77)
Other namesSternb. (standard botanical author abbreviation for species he described)
OccupationTheologian, mineralologist, geognosist, entomologist, botanist
Known forEstablished Bohemian National Museum in Prague, considered founder of modern paleobotany

He established the Bohemian National Museum in Prague — his collection of minerals, fossils and plant specimens formed the core collection of the museum,[1] and he is deemed to be the founder of modern paleobotany. As of 1820 he was on friendly terms with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Originally a student of theology, he attended the Collegium anglicum in Rome, from where he obtained a lower ordination. Inspired by the newly founded Regensburg Botanical Society (1790), he became an avid naturalist, subsequently becoming a prominent member of the society, making contributions to its Botanisches Taschenbuch and also establishing a botanical garden in Regensburg. In 1805, during an extended stay in Paris, he met with Alexander von Humboldt and came under the influence of a number of French paleontologists and botanists. Afterwards, he relocated to an estate in Radnice, Bohemia. Here, he created a botanical garden, and conducted important paleobotanical research at recently opened coal mines located in the surrounding areas.[1][2]

The botanical genus Sternbergia is named in his honor.[3]


The standard botanical author abbreviation Sternb. is applied to species he described.


  1. ^ a b Česká pošta Philately, Kaspar Maria von Sternberg (1761 - 1838)
  2. ^ Biography @ Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie
  3. ^ Missouri Botanical Garden Sternbergia lutea
  4. ^ Google Books (publications)
  5. ^ Biodiversity Heritage Library Bibliography
  6. ^ Online Books Versuch einer geognostisch-botanischen darstellung der flora der vorwelt

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