botany

Catherine Furbish and the Native Flora of Maine

Catherine Furbish and the Native Flora of Maine

On May 19, 1834, American botanist Catherine Furbish was born. Furbish collected, classified and illustrated the native flora of Maine. She devoted over 60 years of her life, traveling thousands of miles throughout her home state and creating very accurate drawings and watercolour paintings of the plants she found. Catherine Furbish – Early Years Catherine Furbish was born on May 19, 1834 in Exeter, New Hampshire, U. S. A., the eldest child and only daughter…
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The Botanical Collections of José Celestino Mutis

The Botanical Collections of José Celestino Mutis

On April 6, 1732, Spanish priest, botanist and mathematician José Celestino Mutis was born. Between 1783 and 1808, Mutis tirelessly led an extraordinary endeavor to collect and illustrate the plants of Colombia, assembling one of the richest botanical collections in the world of his time. José Celestino Mutis – Becoming a Botanist José Celestino Mutis began studying medicine at the College of Surgery in Cádiz. There, Mutis also studied physics, chemistry, and…
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William Withering and the Clinical Value of Digitalis

William Withering and the Clinical Value of Digitalis

On March 17, 1741, English botanist, geologist, chemist, physician William Withering was born. From his interest in botany, he paid attention to folk remedies used by herb-gatherers, and discovered digitalis, a very useful drug used to steady and strengthen heart action. The Son of an Apothecary William Withering’s career choice was first highly influenced by his father, an apothecary and his uncle, a physician. Withering began his studies at the University of Edinburgh in 1762 which…
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Andrea Cesalpino and the Classification of Plants

Andrea Cesalpino and the Classification of Plants

On February 23, 1603, Italian physician, philosopher and botanist Andrea Cesalpino passed away. He classified plants according to their fruits and seeds, rather than alphabetically or by medicinal properties. He helped establish botany as an independent science and also made contributions to medical science and physiology. Andrea Cesalpino – Early Years Andrea Cesalpino was probably born on June 5, 1525. However, some sources suggest also 1519 as his actual year of birth.…
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Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

On January 17, 1560, Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin was born. He is best known for his contributions to the field of botany, and especially for his classification of plants. He was a disciple of the famous Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale and he also worked on human anatomical nomenclature. Gaspard Bauhin – Early Years Caspar Bauhin came from the Bauhin medical family, which had fled to Basel as Huguenots from Paris and Amsterdam;…
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Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

On December 13, 1838, French botanist Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet was born. He is best remembered for his work dealing with plant pests, especially in the vineyards of France that were infested by the destructive Phylloxera in the 1860s. Pierre Millardet – Background Millardet attended the Collège de l’Arc and later Besançon, he studied medicine as well as nature science at the University of Freiburg and Heidelberg before becoming professor of botany at the…
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John Ray and the Classification of Plants

John Ray and the Classification of Plants

On November 29, 1627, English naturalist John Ray was born. He published important works on botany, zoology, and natural theology. His classification of plants in his Historia Plantarum, was an important step towards modern taxonomy. He advanced scientific empiricism against the deductive rationalism of the scholastics and was the first to give a biological definition of the term species. “I cannot but look upon the strange Instinct of this noisome and troublesome…
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Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

On November 10, 1683, Scottish botanist and taxonomist Robert Morison passed away. A forerunner of naturalist John Ray, he elucidated and developed the first systematic classification of plants. Robert Morison Background Born in 1620 in Aberdeen, Scotland, as son of John Morison and his wife Anna Gray, Robert Morison was an outstanding scholar who gained his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen at the age of eighteen. He devoted himself at first to mathematics, and studied…
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Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

On June 29, 1516, Flemish physician and botanist Rembert Dodoens (Dodonaeus) was born. His seminal work Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583) is considered one of the foremost botanical works of the late 16th century. He divided plants into 26 groups and introduced many new families. Rembert Dodoens Background Rembert Dodoens was born under the name Rembert Van Joenckema in Mechelen, Spanish Netherlands, today Flanders, Belgium. Later, he changed it…
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John Lindley and his Attempts to Formulate a Natural System of Plant Classification

John Lindley and his Attempts to Formulate a Natural System of Plant Classification

On February 5, 1799, English botanist, gardener and orchidologist John Lindley was born. His attempts to formulate a natural system of plant classification greatly aided the transition from the artificial (considering the characters of single parts) to the natural system (considering all characters of a plant). He made the first definitive orchid classification in 1830. John Lindley Background John Lindley was born in Catton, near Norwich, England, as one of four children…
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