Carl Linnaeus (; 23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his
ennoblement Ennoblement is the conferring of nobility—the induction of an individual into the noble social class, class. Currently only a few kingdoms still grant nobility to people; among them Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Vatican. Depending on ...
as Carl von Linné Blunt (2004), p. 171. (), was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised
binomial nomenclature In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern
taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as (after 1761 Carolus a Linné). Linnaeus was born in
Råshult 350px, Birthplace of Carolus Linnaeus Råshult is a village just north of Älmhult in Kronoberg County, Småland, Sweden. Råshult is known as the village where the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus was born in 1707. References External links ...

, the countryside of
Småland Småland () is a historical Provinces of Sweden, province (''landskap'') in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Scania (Swedish: ''Skåne''), Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Små ...

, in southern Sweden. He received most of his higher education at
Uppsala University Uppsala University ( sv, Uppsala universitet) is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern ...
and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published the first edition of his ' in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, while publishing several volumes. He was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe at the time of his death. Philosopher
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
sent him the message: "Tell him I know no greater man on earth."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
wrote: "With the exception of Shakespeare and
Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Port ...

, I know no one among the no longer living who has influenced me more strongly." Swedish author
August Strindberg Johan August Strindberg (, ; 22 January 184914 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter.Lane (1998), 1040. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four de ...

August Strindberg
wrote: "Linnaeus was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist." Linnaeus has been called ' (Prince of Botanists) and "The
Pliny Pliny may refer to: People from antiquity * Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), ancient Roman nobleman, scientist, historian, and author of ''Naturalis Historia'' (''Pliny's Natural History'') * Pliny the Younger (died 113), ancient Roman statesman, ...
of the North". Broberg (2006), p. 7. He is also considered as one of the founders of modern
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
. In botany and zoology, the abbreviation L. is used to indicate Linnaeus as the authority for a species' name. In older publications, the abbreviation "Linn." is found. Linnaeus's remains constitute the
type specimen In biology, a type is a particular specimen (or in some cases a group of specimens) of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodi ...
for the species ''
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread of , characterized by and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced , , and . Humans are highly social and tend to live in complex s composed of many ...

Homo sapiens
'' following the
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted in that rules the formal of treated as s. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the (which shares the acronym "ICZN"). The rules princi ...
, since the sole specimen that he is known to have examined was himself.ICZN Chapter 16, Article
– "For a nominal species or subspecies established before 2000, any evidence, published or unpublished, may be taken into account to determine what specimens constitute the type series." and Article 73.1.2 – "If the nominal species-group taxon is based on a single specimen, either so stated or implied in the original publication, that specimen is the holotype fixed by monotypy (see Recommendation 73F). If the taxon was established before 2000 evidence derived from outside the work itself may be taken into account
rt. RT may refer to: Arts and media * RT (TV network) RT (formerly Russia Today) is a Russian State media, state-controlled International broadcasting, international television network funded by the federal tax budget of the Russian government ...
to help identify the specimen."

Early life


Linnaeus was born in the village of
Råshult 350px, Birthplace of Carolus Linnaeus Råshult is a village just north of Älmhult in Kronoberg County, Småland, Sweden. Råshult is known as the village where the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus was born in 1707. References External links ...

Småland Småland () is a historical Provinces of Sweden, province (''landskap'') in southern Sweden. Småland borders Blekinge, Scania (Swedish: ''Skåne''), Halland, Västergötland, Östergötland and the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. The name Små ...

, Sweden, on 23 May 1707. He was the first child of Nicolaus (Nils) Ingemarsson (who later adopted the family name Linnaeus) and Christina Brodersonia. His siblings were Anna Maria Linnæa, Sofia Juliana Linnæa, Samuel Linnæus (who would eventually succeed their father as rector of Stenbrohult and write a manual on
beekeeping Beekeeping (or apiculture) is the maintenance of colonies, commonly in man-made , by humans. Most such bees are s in the genus ', but other honey-producing bees such as ' stingless bees are also kept. A (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to coll ...

), Stöver (1794), p. 8. Broberg (2006), p. 10. and Emerentia Linnæa. His father taught him Latin as a small child. One of a long line of peasants and priests, Nils was an amateur
botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

, a
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology ...
minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear distinctive clothing, called vestments, when presiding over service ...
, and the
curate A curate (, sometimes ) is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''cu ...
of the small village of Stenbrohult in Småland. Christina was the daughter of the
rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical), a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations *Rector (academia), a senior official in an educ ...
of Stenbrohult, Samuel Brodersonius. A year after Linnaeus's birth, his grandfather Samuel Brodersonius died, and his father Nils became the rector of Stenbrohult. The family moved into the
rectory A clergy house is the residence, or former residence, of one or more priests or ministers of religion. Such residences are known by various names, including parsonage, manse , Concord, Massachusetts Concord () is a town in Middlesex Count ...

from the curate's house. Quammen (2007), p. 1. Even in his early years, Linnaeus seemed to have a liking for plants, flowers in particular. Whenever he was upset, he was given a flower, which immediately calmed him. Nils spent much time in his garden and often showed flowers to Linnaeus and told him their names. Soon Linnaeus was given his own patch of earth where he could grow plants. Blunt (2004), p. 15. Carl's father was the first in his ancestry to adopt a permanent surname. Before that, ancestors had used the
patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a based on the of one's father, grandfather (avonymic), or an earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a . A name based on the name of ...
naming system of Scandinavian countries: his father was named Ingemarsson after his father Ingemar Bengtsson. When Nils was admitted to the
University of Lund , motto = Ad utrumque , mottoeng = Prepared for both , established = , type = Public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of ...
, he had to take on a family name. He adopted the Latinate name Linnæus after a giant
linden tree ''Tilia'' is a genus of about 30 species of trees or bushes, native throughout most of the temperateness, temperate Northern Hemisphere. The tree is known as linden for the European species, and basswood for North American species. In Britain and ...
(or lime tree), ' in Swedish, that grew on the family homestead. Blunt (2004), p. 12. This name was spelled with the
ligature Ligature may refer to: * Ligature (medicine), a piece of suture used to shut off a blood vessel or other anatomical structure ** Ligature (orthodontic), used in dentistry * Ligature (music), an element of musical notation used especially in the med ...
. When Carl was born, he was named Carl Linnæus, with his father's family name. The son also always spelled it with the æ ligature, both in handwritten documents and in publications. Blunt (2004), p. 13. Carl's patronymic would have been Nilsson, as in Carl Nilsson Linnæus.

Early education

Linnaeus's father began teaching him basic Latin, religion, and geography at an early age. When Linnaeus was seven, Nils decided to hire a tutor for him. The parents picked Johan Telander, a son of a local
yeoman Yeoman was first documented in mid-14th-century England, referring to the middle ranks of servants in an English royal or noble household. was the name applied to groups of freeborn engaged as household guards, or raised as an army during ti ...

. Linnaeus did not like him, writing in his autobiography that Telander "was better calculated to extinguish a child's talents than develop them". Blunt (2004), pp. 15–16. Two years after his tutoring had begun, he was sent to the Lower
Grammar School A grammar school is one of several different types of school in the history of education in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching Latin, but more recently an academically oriented secondary school ...
Växjö Växjö () is a Urban areas in Sweden, city and the seat of Växjö Municipality, Kronoberg County, Sweden. It had 66,275 inhabitants (2016) out of a Municipalities of Sweden, municipal population of 90,721 (2017). It is the administrative, cult ...

in 1717. Stöver (1794), p. 5. Linnaeus rarely studied, often going to the countryside to look for plants. At some point, his father went to visit him and, after hearing critical assessements by his preceptors, he decided to put the youth as an apprentice to some honest cobbler. He reached the last year of the Lower School when he was fifteen, which was taught by the headmaster, Daniel Lannerus, who was interested in botany. Lannerus noticed Linnaeus's interest in botany and gave him the run of his garden. He also introduced him to Johan Rothman, the state doctor of Småland and a teacher at (a
gymnasium Gymnasium may refer to: *Gymnasium (ancient Greece), educational and sporting institution *Gymnasium (school), type of secondary school that prepares students for higher education **Gymnasium (Denmark) **Gymnasium (Germany) **Gymnasium UNT, high ...
) in Växjö. Also a botanist, Rothman broadened Linnaeus's interest in botany and helped him develop an interest in medicine. Blunt (2004), p. 16. Stöver (1794), pp. 5–6. By the age of 17, Linnaeus had become well acquainted with the existing botanical literature. He remarks in his journal that he "read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Månsson's Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz's Flora Åboensis, Palmberg's Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis". Linnaeus entered the Växjö Katedralskola in 1724, where he studied mainly
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, a curriculum designed for boys preparing for the priesthood. Stöver (1794), p. 6. Blunt (2004), pp. 16–17. In the last year at the gymnasium, Linnaeus's father visited to ask the professors how his son's studies were progressing; to his dismay, most said that the boy would never become a scholar. Rothman believed otherwise, suggesting Linnaeus could have a future in medicine. The doctor offered to have Linnaeus live with his family in Växjö and to teach him
physiology Physiology (; ) is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...
and botany. Nils accepted this offer. Blunt (2004), pp. 17–18. Stöver (1794), pp. 8–11.

University studies


Rothman showed Linnaeus that botany was a serious subject. He taught Linnaeus to classify plants according to Tournefort's system. Linnaeus was also taught about the sexual reproduction of plants, according to
Sébastien Vaillant Sébastien Vaillant (May 26, 1669 – May 20, 1722) was French botanist who was born at Vigny, Val-d'Oise, Vigny in present-day Val d'Oise. Early years Vaillant went to school at the age of four and by the age of five, he was collecting plants ...

Sébastien Vaillant
. In 1727, Linnaeus, age 21, enrolled in
Lund University Lund University ( sv, Lunds universitet) is a Public university, public research university in Sweden and one of northern Europe's oldest universities. The university is located in the city of Lund in the province of Scania, Sweden. It traces its r ...
Skåne Scania ( sv, Skåne ()), is the southernmost of the historical provinces (''landskap'') of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in ...

. Blunt (2004), p. 18. Stöver (1794), p. 13. He was registered as ', the Latin form of his full name, which he also used later for his Latin publications. Professor Kilian Stobæus, natural scientist, physician and historian, offered Linnaeus tutoring and lodging, as well as the use of his library, which included many books about botany. He also gave the student free admission to his lectures. Blunt (2004), pp. 21–22. Stöver (1794), p. 15. In his spare time, Linnaeus explored the flora of Skåne, together with students sharing the same interests. Stöver (1794), pp. 14–15.


In August 1728, Linnaeus decided to attend
Uppsala University Uppsala University ( sv, Uppsala universitet) is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern ...
on the advice of Rothman, who believed it would be a better choice if Linnaeus wanted to study both medicine and botany. Rothman based this recommendation on the two professors who taught at the medical faculty at Uppsala:
Olof Rudbeck the Younger Olof Rudbeck the Younger or Olaus Rudbeckius d.y. (15 March 1660 – 23 March 1740) was a Swedish explorer, scientist, botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia ...
and . Although Rudbeck and Roberg had undoubtedly been good professors, by then they were older and not so interested in teaching. Rudbeck no longer gave public lectures, and had others stand in for him. The botany, zoology, pharmacology and anatomy lectures were not in their best state. Blunt (2004), pp. 23–25. In Uppsala, Linnaeus met a new benefactor, Olof Celsius, who was a professor of theology and an amateur botanist. Blunt (2004), pp. 31–32. He received Linnaeus into his home and allowed him use of his library, which was one of the richest botanical libraries in Sweden. Stöver (1794), pp. 19–20. In 1729, Linnaeus wrote a thesis, ' on plant sexual reproduction. This attracted the attention of Rudbeck; in May 1730, he selected Linnaeus to give lectures at the University although the young man was only a second-year student. His lectures were popular, and Linnaeus often addressed an audience of 300 people. Blunt (2004), pp. 32–34. In June, Linnaeus moved from Celsius's house to Rudbeck's to become the tutor of the three youngest of his 24 children. His friendship with Celsius did not wane and they continued their botanical expeditions. Blunt (2004), pp. 34–37. Over that winter, Linnaeus began to doubt Tournefort's system of classification and decided to create one of his own. His plan was to divide the plants by the number of
stamen The stamen (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full vers ...
s and
pistil '' stigmas and style Gynoecium (, from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided in ...
s. He began writing several books, which would later result in, for example, ' and '. He also produced a book on the plants grown in the , '. Blunt (2001), pp. 36–37. Rudbeck's former assistant, Nils Rosén, returned to the University in March 1731 with a degree in medicine. Rosén started giving anatomy lectures and tried to take over Linnaeus's botany lectures, but Rudbeck prevented that. Until December, Rosén gave Linnaeus private tutoring in medicine. In December, Linnaeus had a "disagreement" with Rudbeck's wife and had to move out of his mentor's house; his relationship with Rudbeck did not appear to suffer. That Christmas, Linnaeus returned home to Stenbrohult to visit his parents for the first time in about three years. His mother had disapproved of his failing to become a priest, but she was pleased to learn he was teaching at the University. Anderson (1997), p. 40.

Expedition to Lapland

During a visit with his parents, Linnaeus told them about his plan to travel to
Lapland Lapland may refer to: Places *Lapland or Sápmi, an ethno-cultural region stretching over northern Fennoscandia (parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia) **Lapland (Finland) (''Lappi''/''Lappland''), a Finnish region ***Lapland (former provi ...
; Rudbeck had made the journey in 1695, but the detailed results of his exploration were lost in a fire seven years afterwards. Linnaeus's hope was to find new plants, animals and possibly valuable minerals. He was also curious about the customs of the native
Sami people Places * Sápmi (, smj, Sábme / Sámeednam, sma, Saepmie, sju, Sábmie, , ) is the cultural region traditionally inhabited by the Sámi people. Sápmi is in Northern Europe Northern Europe is a loosely defined Geography, geographic ...
, reindeer-herding nomads who wandered Scandinavia's vast tundras. In April 1732, Linnaeus was awarded a grant from the
Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala Detail of the building of the Royal Swedish Society of Sciences in Uppsala. The Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala ( Swedish ''Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i Uppsala''), is the oldest of the royal academies in Sweden, having been founded in 17 ...
for his journey. Anderson (1997), pp. 42–43. Blunt (2001), p. 38. Linnaeus began his expedition from Uppsala on 12 May 1732, just before he turned 25. He travelled on foot and horse, bringing with him his journal, botanical and
ornithological Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the "methodological study and consequent knowledge of birds with all that relates to them." Several aspects of ornithology differ from related disciplines, due partly to the high visibility and th ...
manuscripts and sheets of paper for pressing plants. Near
Gävle Gävle () is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined ...
he found great quantities of ''Campanula serpyllifolia'', later known as ''
Linnaea borealis ''Linnaea borealis'' is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of ...

Linnaea borealis
'', the twinflower that would become his favourite. Blunt (2001), pp. 42–43. He sometimes dismounted on the way to examine a flower or rock Anderson (1997), pp. 43–44. and was particularly interested in
moss Mosses are small, non-vascular plant, non-vascular flowerless plants in the taxonomic phylum, division Bryophyta (, ) ''sensu stricto''. Bryophyta (''sensu lato'', Wilhelm Philippe Schimper, Schimp. 1879) may also refer to the parent group bryo ...

es and
lichen A lichen ( , ) is a composite organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells (cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy ( ...

s, the latter a main part of the diet of the
reindeer The reindeer (''Rangifer tarandus''), also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North ...

, a common and economically important animal in Lapland. Anderson (1997), p. 46. Linnaeus travelled clockwise around the coast of the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
, making major inland incursions from
Umeå Umeå ( , , , locally ; Norrland dialects#South Westrobothnian, South Westrobothnian: ;). fi, Uumaja; sju, Ubmeje; sma, Upmeje; se, Ubmi) is a city in northeast Sweden. It is the seat of Umeå Municipality and the capital of Västerbotten Co ...

Luleå Luleå ( , , locally ; sv, label=Westrobothnian, Lul, , or , ;). smj, Luleju; fi, Luulaja) is a Cities in Sweden, city on the coast of northern Sweden, and the County Administrative Boards of Sweden, capital of Norrbotten County, the northe ...
Tornio Tornio (; sv, Torneå; sme, Duortnus ; smn, Tuárnus) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science E ...

. He returned from his six-month-long, over expedition in October, having gathered and observed many plants, birds and rocks. Blunt (2001), pp. 63–65. Blunt (2004), pp. 39–42. Broberg (2006), p. 29. Although Lapland was a region with limited
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

, Linnaeus described about 100 previously unidentified plants. These became the basis of his book '. Quammen (2007), p. 2. Stöver (1794), pp. 38–39. However, on the expedition to Lapland, Linnaeus used Latin names to describe organisms because he had not yet developed the binomial system. In ' Linnaeus's ideas about
nomenclature Nomenclature (, ) is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, a ...

classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, eve ...
were first used in a practical way, making this the first proto-modern
Flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring (indigenous (ecology), indigenous) native plant, native plants. Sometimes bacteria and fungi are also referred to as flora, as in the terms ' ...
. The account covered 534 species, used the Linnaean classification system and included, for the described species, geographical distribution and taxonomic notes. It was
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (, , ; 4 February 17789 September 1841) was a Swiss people, Swiss botany, botanist. René Louiche Desfontaines launched de Candolle's botanical career by recommending him at an herbarium. Within a couple ...
who attributed Linnaeus with ' as the first example in the botanical genre of
Flora Flora is all the plant life present in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring (indigenous (ecology), indigenous) native plant, native plants. Sometimes bacteria and fungi are also referred to as flora, as in the terms ' ...

writing. Botanical historian E. L. Greene described ' as "the most classic and delightful" of Linnaeus's works. Frodin (2001), p. 27. It was also during this expedition that Linnaeus had a flash of insight regarding the classification of mammals. Upon observing the lower jawbone of a horse at the side of a road he was travelling, Linnaeus remarked: "If I only knew how many teeth and of what kind every animal had, how many teats and where they were placed, I should perhaps be able to work out a perfectly natural system for the arrangement of all quadrupeds." Blunt (2001), p. 54. In 1734, Linnaeus led a small group of students to
Dalarna Dalarna () is a ''Provinces of Sweden, landskap'' (historical province) in central Sweden. English exonyms for it are Dalecarlia () and the Dales. Dalarna adjoins Härjedalen, Hälsingland, Gästrikland, Västmanland and Värmland. It is also b ...

. Funded by the Governor of Dalarna, the expedition was to catalogue known natural resources and discover new ones, but also to gather intelligence on Norwegian mining activities at
Røros ( sma, Plassje) is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it ...


Seminal years in the Dutch Republic (1735–38)


His relations with Nils Rosén having worsened, Linnaeus accepted an invitation from Claes Sohlberg, son of a mining inspector, to spend the Christmas holiday in
Falun Falun () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It c ...

, where Linnaeus was permitted to visit the mines. Blunt (2001), p. 74. In April 1735, at the suggestion of Sohlberg's father, Linnaeus and Sohlberg set out for the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
, where Linnaeus intended to study medicine at the
University of Harderwijk The University of Harderwijk (1648–1811), also named the ''Guelders Academy'' ( la, Academia Gelro-Zutphanica), was located in the city Harderwijk Harderwijk () ( Dutch Low Saxon: Harderwiek) is a municipality A municipality is usually ...
Stöver (1794), p. 71. while tutoring Sohlberg in exchange for an annual salary. At the time, it was common for Swedes to pursue doctoral degrees in the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

, then a highly revered place to study natural history. Blunt (2001), pp. 78–79. On the way, the pair stopped in , where they met the mayor, who proudly showed them a supposed wonder of nature in his possession: the remains of a seven-headed hydra. Linnaeus quickly discovered the specimen was a cobbled together from the jaws and paws of weasels and the skins of snakes. The provenance of the hydra suggested to Linnaeus that it had been manufactured by monks to represent the
Beast of Revelation The Beast ( el, Θηρίον, ''Thērion'') may refer to one of two beasts described in the Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John, Revelation to John or Revelation from Jesus Christ) is the final bo ...
. Even at the risk of incurring the mayor's wrath, Linnaeus made his observations public, dashing the mayor's dreams of selling the hydra for an enormous sum. Linnaeus and Sohlberg were forced to flee from Hamburg. Anderson (1997), pp. 60–61. Blunt (2004), p. 90. Linnaeus began working towards his degree as soon as he reached
Harderwijk Harderwijk (; Dutch Low Saxon: ) is a Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality and city almost at the exact geographical centre of the Netherlands. It is served by the Harderwijk railway station. Its population centres are Harderwijk and ...

, a university known for awarding degrees in as little as a week. He submitted a dissertation, written back in Sweden, entitled ''Dissertatio medica inauguralis in qua exhibetur hypothesis nova de febrium intermittentium causa'',That is, ''Inaugural thesis in medicine, in which a new hypothesis on the cause of intermittent fevers is presented'' in which he laid out his hypothesis that
malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign fo ...

arose only in areas with clay-rich soils. Although he failed to identify the true source of disease transmission, (i.e., the ''
Anopheles ''Anopheles'' () is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer ...
mosquito Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

), he did correctly predict that ''
Artemisia annua ''Artemisia annua'', also known as sweet wormwood, sweet annie, sweet sagewort, annual mugwort or annual wormwood (), is a common type of Artemisia (plant), wormwood native to temperate Asia, but naturalized in many countries including scattered ...

Artemisia annua
'' ( wormwood) would become a source of
antimalarial Antimalarial medications or simply antimalarials are a type of antiparasitic chemical agent, often naturally derived, that can be used to treat or to prevent malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and othe ...
medications. Within two weeks he had completed his oral and practical examinations and was awarded a doctoral degree. Blunt (2001)
p. 94
That summer Linnaeus reunited with Peter Artedi, a friend from Uppsala with whom he had once made a pact that should either of the two predecease the other, the survivor would finish the decedent's work. Ten weeks later, Artedi drowned in the
canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterd ...

canals of Amsterdam
, leaving behind an unfinished manuscript on the classification of fish. Anderson (1997), p. 66. Blunt (2004), pp. 98–100.

Publishing of '

One of the first scientists Linnaeus met in the Netherlands was Johan Frederik Gronovius to whom Linnaeus showed one of the several manuscripts he had brought with him from Sweden. The manuscript described a new system for classifying plants. When Gronovius saw it, he was very impressed, and offered to help pay for the printing. With an additional monetary contribution by the Scottish doctor Isaac Lawson, the manuscript was published as ' (1735). Blunt (2001), p. 98. Anderson (1997), pp. 62–63. Linnaeus became acquainted with one of the most respected physicians and botanists in the Netherlands, Herman Boerhaave, who tried to convince Linnaeus to make a career there. Boerhaave offered him a journey to South Africa and America, but Linnaeus declined, stating he would not stand the heat. Instead, Boerhaave convinced Linnaeus that he should visit the botanist Johannes Burman. After his visit, Burman, impressed with his guest's knowledge, decided Linnaeus should stay with him during the winter. During his stay, Linnaeus helped Burman with his '. Burman also helped Linnaeus with the books on which he was working: ' and '. Blunt (2004), pp. 100–102.

George Clifford, Philip Miller, and Johann Jacob Dillenius

In August 1735, during Linnaeus's stay with Burman, he met George Clifford III, a director of the Dutch East India Company and the owner of a rich botanical garden at the estate of Hartekamp in Heemstede. Clifford was very impressed with Linnaeus's ability to classify plants, and invited him to become his physician and superintendent of his garden. Linnaeus had already agreed to stay with Burman over the winter, and could thus not accept immediately. However, Clifford offered to compensate Burman by offering him a copy of Hans Sloane, Sir Hans Sloane's ''Natural History of Jamaica'', a rare book, if he let Linnaeus stay with him, and Burman accepted. Anderson (1997), p. 64. Stöver (1794), pp. 81–82. On 24 September 1735, Linnaeus moved to Hartekamp to become personal physician to Clifford, and curator of Clifford's herbarium. He was paid 1,000 florins a year, with free board and lodging. Though the agreement was only for a winter of that year, Linnaeus practically stayed there until 1738. It was here that he wrote a book ''Hortus Cliffortianus'', in the preface of which he described his experience as "the happiest time of my life". (A portion of Hartekamp was declared as public garden in April 1956 by the Heemstede local authority, and was named "Linnaeushof". It eventually became, as it is claimed, the biggest playground in Europe.) In July 1736, Linnaeus travelled to England, at Clifford's expense. Blunt (2001), pp. 106–107. He went to London to visit Sir Hans Sloane, a collector of natural history, and to see his cabinet of curiosities, cabinet, Stöver (1794), p. 89. as well as to visit the Chelsea Physic Garden and its keeper, Philip Miller. He taught Miller about his new system of subdividing plants, as described in '. Miller was in fact reluctant to use the new
binomial nomenclature In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
, preferring the classifications of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and John Ray at first. Linnaeus, nevertheless, applauded Miller's ''Gardeners Dictionary'', The conservative Scot actually retained in his dictionary a number of pre-Linnaean binomial signifiers discarded by Linnaeus but which have been retained by modern botanists. He only fully changed to the Linnaean system in the edition of ''The Gardeners Dictionary'' of 1768. Miller ultimately was impressed, and from then on started to arrange the garden according to Linnaeus's system. Stöver (1794), pp. 89–90. Linnaeus also travelled to Oxford University to visit the botanist Johann Jacob Dillenius. He failed to make Dillenius publicly fully accept his new classification system, though the two men remained in correspondence for many years afterwards. Linnaeus dedicated his ''Critica botanica'' to him, as "''opus botanicum quo absolutius mundus non-vidit''". Linnaeus would later name a genus of tropical tree Dillenia in his honour. He then returned to Hartekamp, bringing with him many specimens of rare plants. Stöver (1794), pp. 90–93. The next year, he published ', in which he described 935 Genus, genera of plants, and shortly thereafter he supplemented it with ', with another sixty (''sexaginta'') genera. Stöver (1794), p. 95. His work at Hartekamp led to another book, ', a catalogue of the botanical holdings in the herbarium and botanical garden of Hartekamp. He wrote it in nine months (completed in July 1737), but it was not published until 1738. It contains the first use of the name ''Nepenthes'', which Linnaeus used to describe a genus of pitcher plants."If this is not Helen's ''Nepenthes'', it certainly will be for all botanists. What botanist would not be filled with admiration if, after a long journey, he should find this wonderful plant. In his astonishment past ills would be forgotten when beholding this admirable work of the Creator!" (translated from Latin by Harry Veitch) Linnaeus stayed with Clifford at Hartekamp until 18 October 1737 (new style), when he left the house to return to Sweden. Illness and the kindness of Dutch friends obliged him to stay some months longer in Holland. In May 1738, he set out for Sweden again. On the way home, he stayed in Paris for about a month, visiting botanists such as Antoine de Jussieu. After his return, Linnaeus never left Sweden again. Blunt (2001), p. 123.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 56.

Return to Sweden

When Linnaeus returned to Sweden on 28 June 1738, he went to
Falun Falun () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It c ...

, where he entered into an engagement to Sara Elisabeth Moræa. Three months later, he moved to Stockholm to find employment as a physician, and thus to make it possible to support a family. Stöver (1794), p. 141. Once again, Linnaeus found a patron; he became acquainted with Carl Gustav Tessin, Count Carl Gustav Tessin, who helped him get work as a physician at the Admiralty. Stöver (1794), pp. 146–147.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 16. During this time in Stockholm, Linnaeus helped found the Royal Swedish Academy of Science; he became the first Praeses#Modern uses, Praeses of the academy by drawing of lots.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), pp. 103–105. Because his finances had improved and were now sufficient to support a family, he received permission to marry his fiancée, Sara Elisabeth Moræa. Their wedding was held 26 June 1739. Seventeen months later, Sara gave birth to their first son, Carl Linnaeus the Younger, Carl. Two years later, a daughter, Elisabeth Christina von Linné, Elisabeth Christina, was born, and the subsequent year Sara gave birth to Sara Magdalena, who died when 15 days old. Sara and Linnaeus would later have four other children: Lovisa, Sara Christina, Johannes and Sophia. Stöver (1794), p. 382. In May 1741, Linnaeus was appointed Professor of Medicine at Uppsala University, first with responsibility for medicine-related matters. Soon, he changed place with the other Professor of Medicine, Nils Rosén, and thus was responsible for the Botanical Garden (which he would thoroughly reconstruct and expand), botany and natural history, instead. In October that same year, his wife and nine-month-old son followed him to live in Uppsala.

Öland and Gotland

Ten days after he was appointed Professor, he undertook an expedition to the island provinces of Öland and Gotland with six students from the university, to look for plants useful in medicine. First, they travelled to Öland and stayed there until 21 June, when they sailed to Visby in Gotland. Linnaeus and the students stayed on Gotland for about a month, and then returned to Uppsala. During this expedition, they found 100 previously unrecorded plants. The observations from the expedition were later published in ', written in Swedish. Like ', it contained both zoological and botanical observations, as well as observations concerning the culture in Öland and Gotland.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 115. Blunt (2004), pp. 137–142. During the summer of 1745, Linnaeus published two more books: ' and '. ' was a strictly botanical book, while ' was zoology, zoological. Stöver (1794), pp. 117–118. Anders Celsius had created the temperature scale Celsius, named after him in 1742. Celsius's scale was inverted compared to today, the boiling point at 0 °C and freezing point at 100 °C. In 1745, Linnaeus inverted the scale to its present standard.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 204.


In the summer of 1746, Linnaeus was once again commissioned by the Government to carry out an expedition, this time to the Swedish province of Västergötland. He set out from Uppsala on 12 June and returned on 11 August. On the expedition his primary companion was Erik Gustaf Lidbeck, a student who had accompanied him on his previous journey. Linnaeus described his findings from the expedition in the book ', published the next year. Blunt (2004), p. 159. After he returned from the journey, the Government decided Linnaeus should take on another expedition to the southernmost province Scania. This journey was postponed, as Linnaeus felt too busy. In 1747, Linnaeus was given the title archiater, or chief physician, by the Swedish king Adolf Frederick of Sweden, Adolf Frederick—a mark of great respect. Blunt (2004), p. 165. The same year he was elected member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Stöver (1794), p. 167.


In the spring of 1749, Linnaeus could finally journey to Scania, again commissioned by the Government. With him he brought his student, Olof Söderberg. On the way to Scania, he made his last visit to his brothers and sisters in Stenbrohult since his father had died the previous year. The expedition was similar to the previous journeys in most aspects, but this time he was also ordered to find the best place to grow walnut and Sorbus intermedia, Swedish whitebeam trees; these trees were used by the military to make rifles. The journey was successful, and Linnaeus's observations were published the next year in '. Blunt (2004), pp. 198–205.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 116.

Rector of Uppsala University

In 1750, Linnaeus became rector of Uppsala University, starting a period where natural sciences were esteemed. Perhaps the most important contribution he made during his time at Uppsala was to teach; many of his students travelled to various places in the world to collect botanical samples. Linnaeus called the best of these students his "apostles".#Gribbin, Gribbin & Gribbin (2008) His lectures were normally very popular and were often held in the Botanical Garden. He tried to teach the students to think for themselves and not trust anybody, not even him. Even more popular than the lectures were the botanical excursions made every Saturday during summer, where Linnaeus and his students explored the flora and fauna in the vicinity of Uppsala. Blunt (2004), pp. 173–174.

''Philosophia Botanica''

Linnaeus published ''Philosophia Botanica'' in 1751. The book contained a complete survey of the taxonomy system he had been using in his earlier works. It also contained information of how to keep a journal on travels and how to maintain a botanical garden. Blunt (2004), p. 221.

''Nutrix Noverca''

During Linnaeus's time it was normal for upper class women to have wet nurses for their babies. Linnaeus joined an ongoing campaign to end this practice in Sweden and promote breast-feeding by mothers. In 1752 Linnaeus published a thesis along with Frederick Lindberg, a physician student, based on their experiences. In the tradition of the period, this dissertation was essentially an idea of the presiding reviewer (''prases'') expounded upon by the student. Linnaeus's dissertation was translated into French by Jean-Emmanuel Gilibert, J.E. Gilibert in 1770 as ''La Nourrice marâtre, ou Dissertation sur les suites funestes du nourrisage mercénaire''. Linnaeus suggested that children might absorb the personality of their wet nurse through the milk. He admired the child care practices of the Lapps and pointed out how healthy their babies were compared to those of Europeans who employed wet nurses. He compared the behaviour of wild animals and pointed out how none of them denied their newborns their breastmilk. It is thought that his activism played a role in his choice of the term ''Mammalia'' for the class of organisms.

''Species Plantarum''

Linnaeus published ''Species Plantarum'', the work which is now internationally accepted as the starting point of modern botanical nomenclature, in 1753.#Stace, Stace (1991)
p. 24
The first volume was issued on 24 May, the second volume followed on 16 August of the same year. The book contained 1,200 pages and was published in two volumes; it described over 7,300 species. Stöver (1794), pp. 198–199. The same year the king dubbed him knight of the Order of the Polar Star, the first civilian in Sweden to become a knight in this order. He was then seldom seen not wearing the order's insignia. Blunt (2004), p. 166.


Linnaeus felt Uppsala was too noisy and unhealthy, so he bought two farms in 1758: Hammarby and Sävja. The next year, he bought a neighbouring farm, Edeby. He spent the summers with his family at Hammarby; initially it only had a small one-storey house, but in 1762 a new, larger main building was added. Blunt (2004), p. 219. In Hammarby, Linnaeus made a garden where he could grow plants that could not be grown in the Botanical Garden in Uppsala. He began constructing a museum on a hill behind Hammarby in 1766, where he moved his library and collection of plants. A fire that destroyed about one third of Uppsala and had threatened his residence there necessitated the move. Blunt (2004), pp. 220–224. Since the initial release of ' in 1735, the book had been expanded and reprinted several times; the 10th edition of Systema Naturae, tenth edition was released in 1758. This edition established itself as the starting point for zoological nomenclature, the equivalent of '. Blunt (2004), p. 6. The Swedish King Adolf Frederick granted Linnaeus nobility in 1757, but he was not ennobled until 1761. With his ennoblement, he took the name Carl von Linné (Latinised as '), 'Linné' being a shortened and French language, gallicised version of 'Linnæus', and the German nobiliary particle 'von' signifying his ennoblement. The noble family's coat of arms prominently features a Linnaea borealis, twinflower, one of Linnaeus's favourite plants; it was given the scientific name ''Linnaea borealis'' in his honour by Jan Frederik Gronovius, Gronovius. The shield in the coat of arms is divided into thirds: red, black and green for the three kingdoms of nature (animal, mineral and vegetable) in Linnaean classification; in the centre is an egg "to denote Nature, which is continued and perpetuated ''in ovo''." At the bottom is a phrase in Latin, borrowed from the Aeneid, which reads "Famam extendere factis": we extend our fame by our deeds. Blunt (2004), p. 199. Blunt (2004), pp. 229–230. Linnaeus inscribed this personal motto in books that were gifted to him by friends. After his ennoblement, Linnaeus continued teaching and writing. His reputation had spread over the world, and he corresponded with many different people. For example, Catherine II of Russia sent him seeds from her country.Uppsala University, Linné Online
English language version
He also corresponded with Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, "the Linnaeus of the Austrian Empire", who was a doctor and a botanist in Idrija, Duchy of Carniola (nowadays Slovenia). Scopoli communicated all of his research, findings, and descriptions (for example of the olm and the dormouse, two little animals hitherto unknown to Linnaeus). Linnaeus greatly respected Scopoli and showed great interest in his work. He named a solanaceous genus, ''Scopolia'', the source of scopolamine, after him, but because of the great distance between them, they never met.

Final years

Linnaeus was relieved of his duties in the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 1763, but continued his work there as usual for more than ten years after. In 1769 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society for his work. He stepped down as rector at Uppsala University in December 1772, mostly due to his declining health. Blunt (2004), p. 245. Linnaeus's last years were troubled by illness. He had suffered from a disease called the Uppsala fever in 1764, but survived thanks to the care of Rosén. He developed sciatica in 1773, and the next year, he had a stroke which partially paralysed him. Blunt (2004), p. 232. He suffered a second stroke in 1776, losing the use of his right side and leaving him bereft of his memory; while still able to admire his own writings, he could not recognise himself as their author. Stöver (1794), pp. 243–245. Broberg (2006), p. 42. In December 1777, he had another stroke which greatly weakened him, and eventually led to his death on 10 January 1778 in Hammarby. Despite his desire to be buried in Hammarby, he was buried in Uppsala Cathedral on 22 January. Quammen (2007), p. 4. Anderson (1997), pp. 104–106. His library and collections were left to his widow Sara and their children. Joseph Banks, an eminent botanist, wished to purchase the collection, but his son Carl refused the offer and instead moved the collection to Uppsala. In 1783 Carl died and Sara inherited the collection, having outlived both her husband and son. She tried to sell it to Banks, but he was no longer interested; instead an acquaintance of his agreed to buy the collection. The acquaintance was a 24-year-old medical student, James Edward Smith, who bought the whole collection: 14,000 plants, 3,198 insects, 1,564 shells, about 3,000 letters and 1,600 books. Smith founded the Linnean Society of London five years later. Blunt (2001), pp. 238–240. The von Linné name ended with his son Carl, who never married. His other son, Johannes, had died aged 3. There are over two hundred descendants of Linnaeus through two of his daughters.


During Linnaeus's time as Professor and Rector of Uppsala University, he taught List of students of Linnaeus, many devoted students, 17 of whom he called "apostles". They were the most promising, most committed students, and all of them made botanical expeditions to various places in the world, often with his help. The amount of this help varied; sometimes he used his influence as Rector to grant his apostles a scholarship or a place on an expedition. Blunt (2004), pp. 189–190. To most of the apostles he gave instructions of what to look for on their journeys. Abroad, the apostles collected and organised new plants, animals and minerals according to Linnaeus's system. Most of them also gave some of their collection to Linnaeus when their journey was finished. Broberg (2006), pp. 37–39. Thanks to these students, the Linnaean system of taxonomy spread through the world without Linnaeus ever having to travel outside Sweden after his return from Holland. Anderson (1997), pp. 92–93. The British botanist William T. Stearn notes, without Linnaeus's new system, it would not have been possible for the apostles to collect and organise so many new specimens. Blunt (2004), pp. 184–185. Many of the apostles died during their expeditions.

Early expeditions

Christopher Tärnström, the first apostle and a 43-year-old pastor with a wife and children, made his journey in 1746. He boarded a Swedish East India Company ship headed for China. Tärnström never reached his destination, dying of a tropical fever on Côn Sơn Island the same year. Tärnström's widow blamed Linnaeus for making her children fatherless, causing Linnaeus to prefer sending out younger, unmarried students after Tärnström. Blunt (2004), pp. 185–186. Six other apostles later died on their expeditions, including Pehr Forsskål and Pehr Löfling. Two years after Tärnström's expedition, Finnish-born Pehr Kalm set out as the second apostle to North America. There he spent two-and-a-half years studying the flora and fauna of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Canada. Linnaeus was overjoyed when Kalm returned, bringing back with him many pressed flowers and seeds. At least 90 of the 700 North American species described in ''Species Plantarum'' had been brought back by Kalm. Anderson (1997), pp. 93–94.

Cook expeditions and Japan

Daniel Solander was living in Linnaeus's house during his time as a student in Uppsala. Linnaeus was very fond of him, promising Solander his eldest daughter's hand in marriage. On Linnaeus's recommendation, Solander travelled to England in 1760, where he met the English botanist Joseph Banks. With Banks, Solander joined James Cook on his expedition to Oceania on the ''HM Bark Endeavour, Endeavour'' in 1768–71. Anderson (1997), p. 96. Blunt (2004), pp. 191–192. Solander was not the only apostle to journey with James Cook; Anders Sparrman followed on the ''HMS Resolution (1771), Resolution'' in 1772–75 bound for, among other places, Oceania and South America. Sparrman made many other expeditions, one of them to South Africa. Blunt (2004), pp. 192–193. Perhaps the most famous and successful apostle was Carl Peter Thunberg, who embarked on a nine-year expedition in 1770. He stayed in South Africa for three years, then travelled to Japan. All foreigners in Japan were forced to stay on the island of Dejima outside Nagasaki, so it was thus hard for Thunberg to study the flora. He did, however, manage to persuade some of the translators to bring him different plants, and he also found plants in the gardens of Dejima. He returned to Sweden in 1779, one year after Linnaeus's death. Blunt (2004), pp. 193–194.

Major publications

''Systema Naturae''

The first edition of ' was printed in the Netherlands in 1735. It was a twelve-page work.#L1735, Linnaeus (1735) By the time it reached its 10th edition of Systema Naturae, 10th edition in 1758, it classified 4,400 species of animals and 7,700 species of plants. People from all over the world sent their specimens to Linnaeus to be included. By the time he started work on the 12th edition, Linnaeus needed a new invention—the index card—to track classifications. In ''Systema Naturae'', 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 In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only ...
, was partially developed by the Bauhin brothers (see Gaspard Bauhin and Johann Bauhin) almost 200 years earlier, 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. After the decline in Linnaeus's health in the early 1770s, publication of editions of ''Systema Naturae'' went in two different directions. Another Swedish scientist, Johan Andreas Murray issued the ''Regnum Vegetabile'' section separately in 1774 as the ''Systema Vegetabilium'', rather confusingly labelled the 13th edition. Meanwhile, a 13th edition of the entire ''Systema'' appeared in parts between 1788 and 1793. It was through the ''Systema Vegetabilium'' that Linnaeus's work became widely known in England, following its translation from the Latin by the Lichfield Botanical Society as ''A System of Vegetables'' (1783–1785).

''Orbis eruditi judicium de Caroli Linnaei MD scriptis''

('Opinion of the learned world on the writings of Carl Linnaeus, Doctor') Published in 1740, this small octavo-sized pamphlet was presented to the State Library of New South Wales by the Linnean Society of NSW in 2018. This is considered among the rarest of all the writings of Linnaeus, and crucial to his career, securing him his appointment to a professorship of medicine at Uppsala University. From this position he laid the groundwork for his radical new theory of classifying and naming organisms for which he was considered the founder of modern taxonomy.


' (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 botanical nomenclature, plant nomenclature as it exists today.


' 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, Stace (1991)
p. 22
In it Linnaeus divided the plant Kingdom into 24 classes. One, Cryptogamia, included all the plants with concealed reproductive parts (algae, fungi, mosses and liverworts and ferns).#Hoek, Van den Hoek ''et al.'' (2005).


' (1751) was a summary of Linnaeus's 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 were ' (1737) and ' (1735)), the ''Philosophia'' being simultaneously released in Stockholm.


At the end of his lifetime the Linnean collection in Uppsala was considered one of the finest collections of natural history objects in Sweden. Next to his own collection he had also built up a museum for the university of Uppsala, which was supplied by material donated by Carl Gyllenborg (in 1744–1745), crown-prince Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, Adolf Fredrik (in 1745), Erik Petreus (in 1746), Claes Grill (in 1746), Magnus Lagerström (in 1748 and 1750) and Jonas Alströmer (in 1749). The relation between the museum and the private collection was not formalised and the steady flow of material from Linnean pupils were incorporated to the private collection rather than to the museum.Wallin, L. 2001.
Catalogue of type specimens. 4. Linnaean specimens. – pp. [1], 1–128. Uppsala. (Uppsala University, Museum of Evolution, Zoology Section).
Linnaeus felt his work was reflecting the harmony of nature and he said in 1754 "the earth is then nothing else but a museum of the all-wise creator's masterpieces, divided into three chambers". He had turned his own estate into a microcosm of that 'world museum'. In April 1766 parts of the town were destroyed by a fire and the Linnean private collection was subsequently moved to a barn outside the town, and shortly afterwards to a single-room stone building close to his Linnaeus's Hammarby, country house at Hammarby near Uppsala. This resulted in a physical separation between the two collections; the museum collection remained in the botanical garden of the university. Some material which needed special care (alcohol specimens) or ample storage space was moved from the private collection to the museum. In Hammarby the Linnean private collections suffered seriously from damp and the depredations by mice and insects. Carl von Linné's son (Carl Linnaeus) inherited the collections in 1778 and retained them until his own death in 1783. Shortly after Carl von Linné's death his son confirmed that mice had caused "horrible damage" to the plants and that also moths and mould had caused considerable damage.Dance, S.P. 1967. Report on the Linnaean shell collection. – Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 178 (1): 1–24, Pl. 1–10. He tried to rescue them from the neglect they had suffered during his father's later years, and also added further specimens. This last activity however reduced rather than augmented the scientific value of the original material. In 1784 the young medical student James Edward Smith purchased the entire specimen collection, library, manuscripts, and correspondence of Carl Linnaeus from his widow and daughter and transferred the collections to London. Not all material in Linné's private collection was transported to England. Thirty-three fish specimens preserved in alcohol were not sent and were later lost. In London Smith tended to neglect the zoological parts of the collection; he added some specimens and also gave some specimens away. Over the following centuries the Linnean collection in London suffered enormously at the hands of scientists who studied the collection, and in the process disturbed the original arrangement and labels, added specimens that did not belong to the original series and withdrew precious original type material. Much material which had been intensively studied by Linné in his scientific career belonged to the collection of Louisa Ulrika of Prussia, Queen Lovisa Ulrika (1720–1782) (in the Linnean publications referred to as "Museum Ludovicae Ulricae" or "M. L. U."). This collection was donated by her grandson Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden, King Gustav IV Adolf (1778–1837) to the museum in Uppsala in 1804. Another important collection in this respect was that of her husband Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, King Adolf Fredrik (1710–1771) (in the Linnean sources known as "Museum Adolphi Friderici" or "Mus. Ad. Fr."), the wet parts (alcohol collection) of which were later donated to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and is today housed in the Swedish Museum of Natural History at Stockholm. The dry material was transferred to Uppsala.

System of taxonomy

The establishment of universally accepted conventions for the naming of organisms was Linnaeus's main contribution to taxonomy—his work marks the starting point of consistent use of binomial nomenclature.#Reveal, Reveal & Pringle (1993), pp. 160–161. During the 18th century expansion of natural history knowledge, Linnaeus also developed what became known as the ''Linnaean taxonomy''; the system of scientific classification now widely used in the biology, biological sciences. A previous zoologist Rumphius (1627–1702) had more or less approximated the Linnaean system and his material contributed to the later development of the binomial scientific classification by Linnaeus. The Linnaean system classified nature within a nested hierarchy, starting with three kingdom (biology), kingdoms. Kingdoms were divided into classes and they, in turn, into orders, and thence into genera (''singular:'' genus), which were divided into species (''singular:'' species). Below the rank of species he sometimes recognised taxa of a lower (unnamed) taxonomic rank, rank; these have since acquired standardised names such as ''variety'' in botany and ''subspecies'' in zoology. Modern taxonomy includes a rank of Family (biology), family between order and genus and a rank of phylum between kingdom and class that were not present in Linnaeus's original system.#Davis, Davis & Heywood (1973), p. 17. Linnaeus's groupings were based upon shared physical characteristics, and not simply upon differences. Of his higher groupings, only those for animals are still in use, and the groupings themselves have been significantly changed since their conception, as have the principles behind them. Nevertheless, Linnaeus is credited with establishing the idea of a hierarchical structure of classification which is based upon observable characteristics and intended to reflect natural relationships. While the underlying details concerning what are considered to be scientifically valid "observable characteristics" have changed with expanding knowledge (for example, DNA sequencing, unavailable in Linnaeus's time, has proven to be a tool of considerable utility for classifying living organisms and establishing their Phylogenetics, evolutionary relationships), the fundamental principle remains sound.

Human taxonomy

Linnaeus's system of taxonomy was especially noted as the first to include humans (''Homo'') taxonomically grouped with apes (''Simia''), under the header of ''Anthropomorpha''. German biologist Ernst Haeckel speaking in 1907 noted this as the "most important sign of Linnaeus's genius". Linnaeus classified humans among the primates beginning with the first edition of '. During his time at Hartekamp, he had the opportunity to examine several monkeys and noted similarities between them and man. He pointed out both species basically have the same anatomy; except for speech, he found no other differences.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 170.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 167, quotes Linnaeus explaining the real difference would necessarily be absent from his classification system, as it was not a morphology (biology), morphological characteristic: ''"I well know what a splendidly great difference there is [between] a man and a ''bestia'' [literally, "beast"; that is, a non-human animal] when I look at them from a point of view of morality. Man is the animal which the Creator deity#Christianity, Creator has seen fit to honor with such a magnificent mind and has condescended to adopt as his favorite and for which he has prepared a nobler life"''. See als
in which Linnaeus cites the significant capacity to reason as the distinguishing characteristic of humans.
Thus he placed man and monkeys under the same category, ''Anthropomorpha'', meaning "manlike."#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 167. This classification received criticism from other biologists such as Johan Gottschalk Wallerius, Jacob Theodor Klein and Johann Georg Gmelin on the ground that it is illogical to describe man as human-like. In a letter to Gmelin from 1747, Linnaeus replied:
It does not please [you] that I've placed Man among the Anthropomorpha, perhaps because of the term 'with human form',"antropomorphon" but man learns to know himself. Let's not quibble over words. It will be the same to me whatever name we apply. But I seek from you and from the whole world a generic difference between man and simian that [follows] from the principles of Natural History.Others who followed were more inclined to give humans a special place in classification; Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in the first edition of his ''Manual of Natural History'' (1779), proposed that the primates be divided into the Quadrumana (four-handed, i.e. apes and monkeys) and Bimana (two-handed, i.e. humans). This distinction was taken up by other naturalists, most notably Georges Cuvier. Some elevated the distinction to the level of order (biology), order. However, the many affinities between humans and other primates—and especially the great apes—made it clear that the distinction made no scientific sense. Charles Darwin wrote, in ''The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Descent of Man'' in 1871:
The greater number of naturalists who have taken into consideration the whole structure of man, including his mental faculties, have followed Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Blumenbach and Georges Cuvier, Cuvier, and have placed man in a separate Order, under the title of the Bimana, and therefore on an equality with the orders of the Quadrumana, Carnivora, etc. Recently many of our best naturalists have recurred to the view first propounded by Linnaeus, so remarkable for his sagacity, and have placed man in the same Order with the Quadrumana, under the title of the Primates. The justice of this conclusion will be admitted: for in the first place, we must bear in mind the comparative insignificance for classification of the great development of the brain in man, and that the strongly marked differences between the skulls of man and the Quadrumana (lately insisted upon by Theodor Ludwig Wilhelm Bischoff, Bischoff, Christoph Theodor Aeby, Aeby, and others) apparently follow from their differently developed brains. In the second place, we must remember that nearly all the other and more important differences between man and the Quadrumana are manifestly adaptive in their nature, and relate chiefly to the erect position of man; such as the structure of his hand, foot, and pelvis, the curvature of his spine, and the position of his head.
I absolutely know of none. If only someone might tell me a single one! If I would have called man a simian or vice versa, I would have brought together all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought to have by virtue of the law of the discipline.
The theological concerns were twofold: first, putting man at the same level as monkeys or apes would lower the spiritually higher position that man was assumed to have in the great chain of being, and second, because the Bible says man was created in the image of God (theomorphism), if monkeys/apes and humans were not distinctly and separately designed, that would mean monkeys and apes were created in the image of God as well. This was something many could not accept.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), pp. 171–172. The conflict between world views that was caused by asserting man was a type of animal would simmer for a century until the much greater, and still ongoing, creation–evolution controversy began in earnest with the publication of ''On the Origin of Species'' by Charles Darwin in 1859. After such criticism, Linnaeus felt he needed to explain himself more clearly. The 10th edition of ' introduced new terms, including ''Mammalia'' and ''Primates'', the latter of which would replace ''Anthropomorpha''#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 175. as well as giving humans the full binomial ''Homo sapiens''. Blunt (2004), p. 8. The new classification received less criticism, but many natural historians still believed he had demoted humans from their former place of ruling over nature and not being a part of it. Linnaeus believed that man biologically belongs to the animal kingdom and had to be included in it.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), pp. 191–192. In his book ', he said, "One should not vent one's wrath on animals, Theology decree that man has a soul and that the animals are mere 'aoutomata mechanica,' but I believe they would be better advised that animals have a soul and that the difference is of nobility."#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 166. Linnaeus added a second species to the genus ''Homo'' in ' based on a figure and description by Jacobus Bontius from a 1658 publication: ''Homo troglodytes'' ("caveman")#Bontius, Bontius (1658)
p. 84
and published a third in 1771: ''Homo lar''. Swedish historian Gunnar Broberg states that the new human species Linnaeus described were actually simians or native people clad in skins to frighten colonial settlers, whose appearance had been exaggerated in accounts to Linnaeus.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 187. In early editions of ', many well-known legendary creatures were included such as the Phoenix (mythology), phoenix, dragon, manticore, and satyrus (ape), satyrus, which Linnaeus collected into the catch-all category ''Animalia Paradoxa, Paradoxa''. Broberg thought Linnaeus was trying to offer a natural explanation and demystify the world of superstition.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), pp. 176–177. Linnaeus tried to debunk some of these creatures, as he had with the hydra; regarding the purported remains of dragons, Linnaeus wrote that they were either derived from lizards or rays. For ''Homo troglodytes'' he asked the Swedish East India Company to search for one, but they did not find any signs of its existence.#Frängsmyr, Frängsmyr ''et al.'' (1983), p. 186. ''Homo lar'' has since been reclassified as ''Hylobates lar'', the lar gibbon. In the first edition of ', Linnaeus subdivided the human species into four Race (biology), varieties based on continent and human skin color, skin colour: "Europæus albesc[ens]" (whitish European), "Americanus rubesc[ens]" (redish American), "Asiaticus fuscus" (tawny Asian) and "Africanus nigr[iculus]" (blackish African). In the tenth edition of Systema Naturae he further detailed phenotypical characteristics for each variety, based on the concept of the four temperaments from classical antiquity, and changed the description of Asians' skin tone to "luridus" (yellow). Additionally, Linnaeus created a wastebasket taxon "monstrosus" for "wild and monstrous humans, unknown groups, and more or less abnormal people". In 1959, W. T. Stearn designated Linnaeus to be the lectotype of ''H. sapiens''.

Influences and economic beliefs

Linnaeus's applied science was inspired not only by the instrumental utilitarianism general to the early Enlightenment, but also by his adherence to the older economic doctrine of Cameralism.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 95–96. Additionally, Linnaeus was a state interventionist. He supported tariffs, levies, export bounties, quotas, embargoes, navigation acts, subsidised investment capital, ceilings on wages, cash grants, state-licensed producer monopolies, and cartels.#Koerner, Koerner (1999), p. 97.


Anniversaries of Linnaeus's birth, especially in centennial years, have been marked by major celebrations.#Östholm, Östholm (2007) Linnaeus has appeared on numerous Swedish postage stamps and banknotes. There are numerous statues of Linnaeus in countries around the world. The Linnean Society of London has awarded the Linnean Medal for excellence in botany or zoology since 1888. Following approval by the Riksdag of Sweden, Växjö University and Kalmar College merged on 1 January 2010 to become Linnaeus University. Other things named after Linnaeus include the twinflower genus ''Linnaea'', the crater Linné (crater), Linné on the Earth's moon, a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the cobalt sulfide mineral Linnaeite.


Andrew Dickson White wrote in ''q:A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom'' (1896):
Linnaeus ... was the most eminent naturalist of his time, a wide observer, a close thinker; but the atmosphere in which he lived and moved and had his being was saturated with biblical theology, and this permeated all his thinking. ... Toward the end of his life he timidly advanced the hypothesis that all the species of one genus constituted at the creation one species; and from the last edition of his ''Systema Naturæ'' he quietly left out the strongly orthodox statement of the fixity of each species, which he had insisted upon in his earlier works. ... warnings came speedily both from the Catholic and Protestant sides.
The mathematical PageRank algorithm, applied to 24 multilingual Wikipedia editions in 2014, published in ''PLOS ONE'' in 2015, placed Carl Linnaeus at the top historical figure, above Jesus, Aristotle, Napoleon, and Adolf Hitler (in that order). In the 21st century, Linnæus' taxonomy of human "races" has been problematised and discussed. Some critics claim that Linnæus was one of the forebears of the modern pseudoscientific notion of scientific racism, while others hold the view that while his classification was stereotyped, it did not imply that certain human "races" were superior to others.

Standard author abbreviation

Selected publications by Linnaeus

* * * * ''see also Species Plantarum'' * * ** * *

See also

* Linnaeus's flower clock * Johann Bartsch, colleague * ''Centuria Insectorum'' * History of botany * History of phycology * Scientific revolution





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Further reading

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External links

at the Department of Systematic Botany, Uppsala University, University of Uppsala
at The Linnean Society of London

from the University of California Museum of Paleontology * A four-minut
biographical video
from the London Natural History Museum, London, Natural History Museum on YouTube
from Taxonomic Literature, 2nd Edition. 1976–2009. Resources * *
The Linnean Society of London

The Linnaeus Apostles

The Linnean Collections

The Linnean Correspondence

The Linnaean Dissertations

The Linnaeus Tercentenary

Works by Carl von Linné
at the Biodiversity Heritage Library
Digital edition: "Critica botanica"
by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
Digital edition: "Classes plantarum seu systemata plantarum"
by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
''Oratio de telluris habitabilis incremento''
(1744) – full digital facsimile from Linda Hall Library Other * Linnaeus was depicted by Jay Hosler in a parody of ''Peanuts'' titled
Good ol' Charlie Darwin
. * Th

of ''Nature (journal), Nature'' featured a picture of Linnaeus on the cover with the heading "Linnaeus's Legacy" and devoted a substantial portion to items related to Linnaeus and Linnaean taxonomy. * A tattoo of Linnaeus'
definition of the order Primates
mentioned by Carl Zimmer * ''Ginkgo biloba'
tree at the University of Harderwijk
said to have been planted by Linnaeus in 1735 *''SL Magazine,'' Spring 2018 features an article by Nicholas Sparks, librarian, Collection Strategy and Development titled ''Origins of Taxonomy,'' describing a generous donation from the Linnean Society of NSW to supplement the State Library of New South Wales's collections on Carl Linnaeus of documents, photographs, prints and drawings as well as a fine portrait of Linnaeus painted about 1800. {{DEFAULTSORT:Linnaeus, Carl Carl Linnaeus, 1707 births 1778 deaths 18th-century Latin-language writers 18th-century male writers 18th-century Swedish physicians 18th-century Swedish scientists 18th-century Swedish writers Age of Liberty people Arachnologists Botanical nomenclature Botanists active in Europe Botanists with author abbreviations Bryologists Burials at Uppsala Cathedral Fellows of the Royal Society Historical definitions of race Knights of the Order of the Polar Star Members of the French Academy of Sciences Members of the Prussian Academy of Sciences Members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences People from Älmhult Municipality Phycologists Pteridologists Swedish autobiographers Swedish biologists Swedish botanists Swedish entomologists Swedish expatriates in the Dutch Republic Swedish Lutherans Swedish mammalogists Swedish mycologists Swedish nobility, Linne, Carl von Swedish ornithologists Swedish taxonomists Terminologists Taxon authorities of Hypericum species University of Harderwijk alumni Uppsala University alumni Uppsala University faculty Biology and natural history in the Dutch Republic