Carl Linnaeus

When reading up on species of wood, have you ever wondered what the ‘L’ signifies following a tree’s binomial name? Take that of English walnut for example – Juglans regia L. – the ‘L’ signifies the tree was classified by Linnaeus.

Alexander_Roslin__Carl_von_Linné_01aAlexander Roslin, Carl von Linné, circa 1775.

The great naturalist Carl Linnaeus was born in Råshult, Smâland, Sweden on the 23rd of May, 1707, the eldest son of a Lutheran pastor, and amateur botanist, Nils Linnaeus. Linnaeus developed the binomial system of nomenclature, systematising the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Linnaeus received a title in 1761 and took the name Carl von Linné.

Strangely (for someone of Linnaeus’ enlightenment), Linnaeus was not conversant in our language, though his Systema Naturae (1735), Fundamenta Botanica (1736), and Species Plantarum (1753) were published in English.

general_system_vol-I_01aSir Charles Linné, A General System of Nature, London, 1806.

Following his death in 1778, Linnaeus’ library formed the heart of the Linnaean Society of London , founded on the 26th of February 1788 at the Marlborough Coffee House.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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3 Responses to Carl Linnaeus

  1. Marsh Jim says:

    Thank you. At one time I actually thought it stood for “Latin”


  2. Pingback: Butternut (Juglans Cinerea) | Find Me A Cure

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