February 5, 1799 (a Tuesday)

On this date, the English botanist and horticulturist John Lindley was born. His attempts to formulate a natural system of plant classification greatly aided the transition from the artificial system (considering single or few characters of a plant species) to the natural system (considering all characters of the plant).

Illustration from Lindley’s book entitled "Sertum orchidaceum: A Wreath of the Most Beautiful Orchidaceous Flowers" (1837-41).

Illustration from Lindley’s book entitled “Sertum orchidaceum: A Wreath of the Most Beautiful Orchidaceous Flowers” (1837-41).

In 1818 0r 1819, Lindley went to London, where he was engaged by J. C. Loudon to write the descriptive portion of the Encyclopaedia of Plants. In his labors on this undertaking, which was completed in 1829, he became convinced of the superiority of the “natural” system of A. L. de Jussieu, as distinguished from the “artificial” system of Linnaeus followed in the Encyclopaedia; the conviction found expression in A Synopsis of British Flora, arranged according to the Natural Order (1829) and in An Introduction to the Natural System of Botany (1830).

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One response to “February 5, 1799 (a Tuesday)

  1. I always enjoy learning more about the great minds of botany

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