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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/866

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to the feeding, to the wings in birds, and to the presence or absence of elytræ in insects. But his distinction rests pre-eminently on his work in botany, and to this most of his publications relate. He was not the originator either of the sexual system of classification or of the binary nomenclature; for the former, as we have seen, was suggested by other students whose essays he read and whose ideas he put in practice; and the latter was applied, as has been shown in a sketch in a previous number of the "Monthly," nearly two hundred years before him, by Pierre Bdlon. But Linnæus made it general and established it in science. The formal introduction of his system of classification was made in the "Systema Naturæ," which Gronovius published at Leyden in 1735, in three sheets, according to one authority, or in eight folio sheets, according to another. It was enlarged in successive subsequent editions, of which the twelfth appeared during the author's lifetime. It was followed in 1736 by the "Fundamenta Botanica," of twenty-six pages, which contained an exposition of the author's theory as worked out after seven years of study and the examination of eight thousand plants. This work, amplified, afterward developed into two—the "Bibliotheca Botanica," Amsterdam, 1756; and the "Classes Plantarum" or "Systemata Plantarum," Leyden, 1738; while a more detailed explanation of the system of nomenclature was given in the "Critica Botanica," Leyden, 1737. These three works were the beginning of the great reform in botany; but the doctrine of Linnæus on these subjects, co-ordinated in its parts and illustrated by examples, was reproduced as a whole in 1751 in the "Philosophia Botanica," Stockholm—a work which served as the foundation for most of the minor treatises till Linnæus's artificial system of classification was supplemented by the natural system. The "Genera Plantarum," 1737, gave full descriptions of the genera, "according to the number, shape, position, and proportion of all the parts of fructification," and is pronounced by Mr. B. Daydon Jackson, in the "Encyclopædia Britannica," "a volume which must be considered the starting-point of modern systematic botany." In the "Species Plantarum," 1753, "the author's most important contribution to scientific literature," the trivial names expressing some obvious character to designate species are fully set forth.

The nomenclature introduced by Linnæus has endured, and the names he gave to species are still living; so that "in whatever part of the world one may be, if there are botanists or professional gardeners, there it is enough to give the Linnæan name of a plant to have its identity understood at once." His system of classification has given way to the more philosophical natural system by affinities based upon comparison of all the parts and qualities of the plant. There is reason to believe that he foresaw