Born in November 1904 in Jaipur (Rajasthan), Panchanan
Maheswari got solace in books and magazines in his school days and later
developed interest in scientific magazine. During his college days, he was
inspired by Dr. Dudgeon, American missionary teacher, to develop interest in
Botany and especially morphology. His teacher once expressed that if his
student progresses ahead of him, it will give him a great satisfaction. These
words encouraged Panchanan to enquire what he could do for his teacher in
return. Dudgeon replied that “do for your student what I have done for you.”
Meticulously following his teacher advice, he did train a host talented
student. He pursued his University Education in botany at Allahabad.
He worked on embryological aspect, especially the embryo sac
of several plants belonging to more than 100 families. P.Maheshwri was assisted
by wife in preparation of slides in addition to her household duties. Way back
in 1950 he talked of contact between embryology, physiology and genetics. He
also emphasised the need of initiation of work on artificial culture of
These days, tissue culture has become a landmark in economic
botany led to Dictionary of economic plants in India. Another book consider “magnum opus”,
the introduction of the Embryology of Angiosperms
was completed by him during his two years stay at Harward. Volume on Recent Advances in Embryology of
Angiosperm (1963), edited by
Maheswari, became a referral for the researchers in embryology.
He devoted his life to science. Many of his well wishers and
students felt pride in naming new finds after him, such as Panchanaia jaipurensis (fungus) Oldenlandia
maheswarii (Rhbiaceae member).
He was honoured with fellowship of Royal Society of London
(FRS), Indian National Science
Academy and several other
institutions of excellence. His interest in science also made a significant
contribution to school education in the form of Biology for sec.schools.