Pier Antonio Micheli (1679–1737) and Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778)

2016-03-08T12:28:49Z (GMT) by Charles E. Jarvis
<p>Although the Florentine botanist Pier Antonio Micheli and the Swedish physician and systematist Carl Linnaeus never met, they are linked through Micheli’s <i>Nova Plantarum Genera</i> (1729), of which Linnaeus was a great admirer. A recently located letter from Linnaeus, dating from 1736 when he was in the Netherlands, shows Linnaeus’s appreciation of Micheli’s understanding of groups of plants in which Linnaeus had little expertise. Linnaeus’s own works, notably his <i>Species Plantarum</i> (1753), cited extensively the descriptions and engravings published by Micheli and, as a consequence, many of them have subsequently been designated as lectotypes for Linnaean binomial names. Micheli also possessed an extensive collection of dried plants which, although not seen by Linnaeus, survives within the Micheli–Targioni herbarium at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. Taking as a sample those of Micheli’s engravings and descriptions that were cited by Linnaeus, this study explores the degree to which it is possible to associate specimens and engravings, and also the influence that Micheli’s work had on Linnaeus in comparison with that of other authors (particularly J.J. Dillenius).</p>