Carl Linnaeus


Carl Linnaeus : biography

23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778

Major publications

Systema Naturae

The first edition of ‘ was printed in the Netherlands in 1735. It was a twelve-page work.Linnaeus (1735) By the time it reached its 10th edition in 1758, it classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants. In it, the unwieldy names mostly used at the time, such as "’", were supplemented with concise and now familiar "binomials", composed of the generic name, followed by a specific epithet – in the case given, Physalis angulata. These binomials could serve as a label to refer to the species. Higher taxa were constructed and arranged in a simple and orderly manner. Although the system, now known as binomial nomenclature, was partially developed by the Bauhin brothers (see Gaspard Bauhin and Johann Bauhin) almost 200 years earlier,Windelspecht (2002), p. 28. Linnaeus was the first to use it consistently throughout the work, including in monospecific genera, and may be said to have popularised it within the scientific community.

(or, more fully, ‘) was first published in 1753, as a two-volume work. Its prime importance is perhaps that it is the primary starting point of plant nomenclature as it exists today.

In 1754, Linnaeus divided the plant Kingdom into 25 classes (Genera Plantarum 5th edition). One, Cryptogamia, included all the plants with concealed reproductive parts (algae, fungi, mosses and liverworts and ferns).Van den Hoek et al. (2005).

was first published in 1737, delineating plant genera. Around 10 editions were published, not all of them by Linnaeus himself; the most important is the 1754 fifth edition.Stace (1991), .

(1751) was a summary of Linnaeus’ thinking on plant classification and nomenclature, and an elaboration of the work he had previously published in ‘ (1736) and ‘ (1737). Other publications forming part of his plan to reform the foundations of botany include his ‘ and ‘: all were printed in Holland (as well as ‘ (1737) and ‘ (1735)), the Philosophia being simultaneously released in Stockholm.Stafleu (1971), p. 157.