Linnaeus, The Swedish Plantsman


Carolus Linnaeus (also known as Carl von Linné), the Swedish naturalist who devised the modern classification system for plants and animals, was one of the great scientists of 18th-century Scandinavia.

240415_Carl_von_LinnéLinnaeus, the Swedish plantsman, was born on May 23, 1707 in the southern Swedish province of Smaland. His father, Nils Linnaeus, was a Lutheran pastor with an interest in gardening. It was probably in his father’s garden that Carolus’ love and enthusiasm for plants began. He studied medicine at the University of Lund and botany at Uppsala. He traveled widely before returning to Stockholm, Sweden where he served as a physician for three years. Linnaeus, the Swedish plantsman, was a leading figure in the founding of the Swedish Academy of Science. He spent several years studying abroad in Europe

As chair of botany, dietetics and material medica at Uppsala, he pursued his research into nomenclature.


His publications included Systema Naturae (1735), Philisophia Botanica (1750) and Species Plantarum (1753). He has been famous for his quote “A herbarium is better than any illustration; every botanist should make one.”

In old age, Carolus began to suffer from what may have been a stroke. He was still interested in plants, but could no longer remember their names. Linnaeus died in 1778. His house and botanical garden can be visited at Uppsala.