Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Assistant Curator of the University of North Carolina Herbarium

Tem Smitinand
(1920 – 18 March 1995)

The University of North Carolina Herbarium has databased approximately 30 specimens collected by Tem Smitinand.  Most are from Thailand, though a few were collected in Vietnam.  No doubt more will be found as databasing continues.

Dr. Smitinand was associated with the Forest Herbarium (BKF) in Thailand, and a specialist in the taxonomy of the Cycadaceae, Dipterocarpaeae, and the Orchidaceae.  From 1947-1977 Smitinand organized a group of collectors to document the flora of various regions of Thailand.  These collectors included Dee Bunpheng, Din Nakkan, Chit Nuphakdee, Ploenchit Suvarnakoset, Bunnak Sangkhachand, Bunchu Nimanong, Sanan Phengnaren, Damrongsak Praphat, Sanoh Phengnaren, Sanan Thaworn, Sinchai Phusomsaeng, and Kanthachai Bunchai. (1)

Smitinand and co-author Gunnar Seidenfaden (1908-2001) are best known for the four volume work, The Orchids of Thailand:  A Preliminary List. 

For about 20 years, Seidenfaden had been away from botany when this suddenly changed in 1955.  That year he was sent to Bangkok as Danish ambassador with the assignment to establish a Danish embassy responsible for contacts with the growing economies of Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.  In Bangkok, he met a young Thai forest botanist, Tem Smitinand, employed in the Royal Forest Department, and together they started collecting and studying Thai orchids.  During his early years in Thailand, Seidenfaden realized the possibilities for collaboration in biological research between the two countries, which already had a long tradition for contacts through their Royal families and various joint business enterprises.  In 1958-59 the idea of Thai-Danish botanical expeditions to remote parts of Thailand began to materialize.  The first expedition was followed by five more, and the field work resulted in the initiation of the Flora of Thailand project.  Prof. Kai Larsen, University of Aarhus, and Dr. Bertel Hansen, Botanical Museum, came to play important parts in this project, together with a long range of Thai botanists from scientific institutions all over the country…  Field trips were made during weekends and holidays, often with Tem Smitinand.  The first result of these studies, G. Seidenfaden and T. Smitinand, The Orchids of Thailand – A Preliminary List (1959-1965), was published in Bangkok in four parts with a total of c. 900 pages and covering ca. 750 species.    (2)

Smitinand collected over 12,000 specimens and duplicates were distributed to European and American herbaria. 


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Partial list of publications:

Smitinand, Tem, Paul B. Tompsett, and Martin Cheek (1993)  A new synonym and a range extension for Dipterocarpus alatus.  Kew Bulletin 48(2):  397-399.

Smitinand, Tem and Kai Larsen, eds. (1979-1995)  Flora of Thailand, volumes 1-19.  Bangkok:  Applied Scientific Research Corporation of Thailand.

Smitinand, Tem (1980)  The manual of Dipterocarpaceae of mainland Southeast Asia.  Bangkok:  Secretariat of the Cabinet Printing Office under the auspices of the National Research Council of Thailand.

Smitinand, Tem (1980)  Thai plant names:  botanical names, vernacular names.  [complete citation needed]

Smitinand, Tem (1975)  Wild flowers of Thailand.  [complete citation needed]

Seidenfaden, G. and Smitinand, T.  (1970)  Report of the sixth Thai-Danish Expedition 1968.  Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 23:  527-540.

Seidenfaden, G., Smitinand, T., Thorson, G. (1968)  Report on the Fifth Thai Danish Expedition 1966.  Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 22:  245-261.

Smitinand, Tem (1966)  Edible and poisonous plants and animals:  Annex to survival manual for Thailand and adjacent areas.  [complete cititation needed]

Seidenfaden, Gunnar and Tem Smitinand (1959-1965)  The Orchids of Thailand, parts 1-4.  Bangkok:  Siam Society.

Smitinand, Tem (1958)  Identification keys to genera and species of the Dipterocarpaceae of Thailand.  Thai Forest Bulletin.  [comlete citation needed]


1.  "Collections & Collectors, a history in Thailand." Office of the Forest Herbarium. Office of the Forest Herbarium , 2012. Web. 5 Apr 2012. <>.

2.  Friis, Ib (2002)  Gunnar Seidenfaden (1908-2001):  Arctic explorer, ambassador and orchidologist.  Taxon 51(2):  405-411.


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University of North Carolina Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931
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Last Updated: 5 April 2012