Linnaeus (Carl Von Linne) 1707-1778
Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist and physician.
At first he was a theological student but when 23 years of age he became Curator of the gardens of the University of Lund. From 1732 to 1738 he traveled in Lapland, Holland, England and France, returning to Stockholm where he practiced medicine. In 1741 he became Head of Botany at the University of Upsula where he remained until his death.
By some he is considered to be the "Father" of Botany; by others the last of a long line of systematists which began with Brunfels two hundred years previously. His outstanding works were: Systema Naturae (1735), Fundamenta Botanica (1736), Genera Plantarum (1737), Classes Plantarum (1738), Philosophia Botanica (1751). His outstanding characteristic was his power of description and systematizing. Bentham, his successor in taxonomy wrote:
It was reserved for the master mind of the Swede to fix, by the establishment of genera and species, upon sound philosophical principles, a firm stage to serve as a basis and standing point for further progress and exploration. By his accurate description of genera and species he really made possible the subsequent generalizations of De Jussieu and De Candolle.
He is credited with the establishment of the binomial nomenclature and with having replaced the long-winded and confused descriptions of the herbalist by clean and succinct description. He did not invent the binomial nomenclature as the beginning of the idea is found in Theophrastus. He is also primarily associated with the so-called sexual system of classification. He employed the numbers of the stamens and carpels or more accurately the styles as a convenient method of grouping plants together.