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
the establishment of genera and species, upon sound
principles, a firm stage to serve as a basis and
for further progress and exploration. By his accurate
of genera and species he really made possible the
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.