Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada

The Royal Botanical Expedition to New Granada (Spanish: Expedición Botánica al Virreinato de Nueva Granada) took place between 1783 and 1816 in the territories of New Granada, covering present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Peru and northern Brazil and western Guyana.

The project was rejected twice before being finally approved in 1783 by King Charles III of Spain, and was headed by José Celestino Mutis, a Spanish priest, who was also a botanist, mathematician and teacher.


Before the King sanctioned the expedition, Mutis had already proposed it on two occasions, in 1763 and 1764 respectively, but he had been ignored. However, years later, after he retired to live in Mariquita, he met Archbishop and Viceroy Antonio Caballero y Góngora, who made a third proposal on his behalf that was finally accepted by the King, who named Mutis first botanist and astronomer of the botanical expedition.[1]