Skip to main content

Wigand, Albert Julius Wilhelm


(b. Treysa, Electoral Hesse, Germany, 21 April 1821; d.Marburg, Germany, 22 October (1886)


The son of Johann Heinrich Friedrich Wigand, an apothecary, Wigand beganthe study of mathematics, science, and German philology at the University of Marburg in 1840. After a short period at the University of Berlin, wherehe studied botany under Karsten, he moved to Jena and became a pupil of Schleiden’s In fact, Wigand can be considered the last and most important member of Schleiden’s school of botany. In 1846 he returned to Marburg and published his inaugural dissertation. In the same year he was appointed external university lecturer; in 1851, extraordinary professor; and in 1861, full professor of botany and director of the Botanical Garden and the pharmacognostic cognostic institute.

Wigand was active in various areas of botany; and all of his publications are characterized by a philosophical outlook that originated in his strong religious beliefs, although he always attempted to proceed inductively. In his inaugural dissertation he discussed the teratology of plants in the light of a general theory of metamorphosis, a subject to which he subsequently returned.

Strongly opposed to the view that ferns might have generative organs, Wigand mistakenly believed that both the antheridia and the archegonia must be functionless. With greater success he defended his views concerning the cuticula, the intercellular substance, and the structure of the cell wall. He stated that the wall between two cells is the result of chemical processes that lead to deposition of new material (apposition), an interpretation that appeared to be correct. His use of chemical substances for these microscopical investigations renders him a pioneer of microchemical staining techniques.

Wigand also was active in plant physiology, particularly in the study of tannin and the pigments of flowers, plant morphology, and plant systematics. In microbiology Wigand developed a theory of fermentation in which bacteria were morphologically and physiologically independent units, originatingfrom the protoplasm of animal and plant cells in a state of decomposition (anamophosis of protoplams). This theory was proposed because – on religious grounds – he could not accept the idea of spontaneous generation.

For similar reasons Wigand was one of Darwin’s most ardent opponents in Germany, although he always tried to oppose Darwinian theory exclusively on scientific grounds. His own ideas on evolution were developed in Genealogie der Urzellen (1872).

Wigand’s Lehrbuch der Pharmakognosie (1863), a manual for apothecaries,was written primarily from the practical point of view; another important pharmacognostic publication dealt with the origin of gums and resins (1863).


I. Original Works. Many of Wigand’s papers appeared in Botanische Zeitung, 7–29 (1849–1871), and in Botanische Hefte, 1–3 (1885–1888), the latter published by the Botanical Garden at Marburg. See also Royal Society Catalogue of Scientific papers, VI, 363; VIII, 1238; XI, 806; XII, 783; and XIX, 608.

His earlier books include Kritik und Geschichte der Lehre von der Metamorphose der Pflanze (Leipzig,] 1846), his inaugural dissertation; Grundlegung der pflanzenteratologie (Marburg, 1850); Intercellularsubstanz und Cuticula (Brunswick, 1850); Botanische Untersuchungen (Brunswick, 1854); Der Baum (Brunswick, 1854); Flora von Durhessen und Nassau (Marburg, 1859; 3rd ed., Kassel, 1879); Lehrbuch der phaqrmakognosie (Berlin, 1863; 4th ed., 1887); and Der botanische Garten von Marburg (Marburg, 1867; 2nd ed., 1880).

Later publications include Die Genealogie der Urzellen (Brunswick, 1872); Ueber die Auflösung der Arten durch natürliche Zuchtwahl (Hannover, 1872); Mikroskopische Untersuchungen (Stuttgart, 1872); Der Darwinismus und die Naturforschung Newtons und Cuwinismus und die Naturforschung Newtons und Curviers, 3 Vols. (Brunswick, 1874–1877); Die Alternative: Teleologie oder Zuffall? (Kassel, 1877); Der Darwinismus, ein Zeichen der Zeit (Heilbronn, 1878); Entstehung und Fermentwirkung der Bkterien (Marburg, 1884); and Grundsätze aller Naturwissenschaft (Marburg, 1886).

II. Secondary Literature. See E. Dennert, “Julius Wilhelm Albert Wigand,” in Flora, n.s. 44 (1886), 531–539; F. F. Kohl, “Albert Wigand,” in Botanisches Zentralblatt, 28 (1886), 350–352, 381–384; A. Tschirch, “Julius Wilhelm Albert Wigand,” in Beichte der Deutschen botanischen Gesellschaft, 5 (1887), xli – li; and B. Lehmann, Julius wilhelm Albert Wigand (1821–1886). Professor der Botanik und Pharmakognosie zu Marburg (Marburg, 1973).

P. Smit

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wigand, Albert Julius Wilhelm." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . 23 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Wigand, Albert Julius Wilhelm." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . (April 23, 2019).

"Wigand, Albert Julius Wilhelm." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved April 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.