Vries was a Dutch botanist best known for his
studies on mutations. He was one of the three
scientists who independently rediscovered and
confirmed the laws of heredity as presented by Gregor
De Vries was educated at the Universities of
Leiden, Heidelberg and Wruzburg. He became a professor
of botany at the University of Amsterdam in 1878.
He discovered new forms among a display of Evening
Primrose Oenothera lamarcklana growing wild in
a waste meadow. This led him to believe that evolution
might be studied by a new experimental method. This
new method is considered his greatest contribution to
science and resulted in a new approach to evolution
and a new epoch in its history. The name "mutation"
was given to his new method of producing new species
and varieties (cultivars) which he showed to arise
He retired in 1918 from the University of Amsterdam
but continued his studies with new forms. He died on
May 21, 1935.
His best known works are:
Intracellular Pangenesis (1889)
The Mutation Theory German edition (1900-03)
English edition (1910-11)
Plant Breeding (1907) German translation