Antoine Laurent de Jussieu (12 April 1748 – 17 September 1836) was a French botanist, notable as the first to publish a natural classification of flowering plants; much of his system remains in use today. His classification was based on and extended unpublished work by his uncle, the botanist Bernard de Jussieu.
Jussieu was born in Lyon. He went to Paris to study medicine, graduating in 1770. He was professor of botany at the Jardin des Plantes from 1770 to 1826. His son Adrien-Henri also became a botanist. Bust of Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu by David d'Angers (1837). Medallion of Jussieu by David d'Angers
In his study of flowering plants, Genera plantarum (1789), Jussieu adopted a methodology based on the use of multiple characters to define groups, an idea derived from Scottish-French naturalist Michel Adanson. This was a significant improvement over the "artificial" system of Linnaeus, whose most popular work classified plants into classes and orders based on the number of stamens and pistils. Jussieu did keep Linnaeus' binomial nomenclature, resulting in a work that was far-reaching in its impact; many of the present-day plant families are still attributed to Jussieu. Morton's 1981 History of botanical science counts 76 of Jussieu's families conserved in the ICBN, versus just 11 for Linnaeus, for instance. Writing of the natural system, Sydney Howard Vines remarked
"The glory of this crowning achievement belongs to Jussieu: he was the capable man who appeared precisely at the psychological moment, and it is the men that so appear who have made, and will continue to make, all the great generalisations of science."
In 1788, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Les Neuf Sœurs.
Read more from his Wikipedia biography.
Portrait from Galerie des naturalistes de J. Pizzetta, Ed. Hennuyer, 1893.
The first to publish a natural classification of flowering plants? Chiron in Virgo almost exactly conjunct and ruling the Virgo Ascendant.
NATAL DATA and ASTROLOGY CHART
BIRTH DATA: 12 April 1748, 16:00 (4pm) LMT (-0:19:24), Lyon, France (45n45, 04e51). ASC: 23 Virgo. RR=AA (from baptismal certificate quoted in a biography). SOURCE: Sy Scholfield (c) quotes a transcription of the birth record in Lyon-revue, Volume 1 (1880), p. 123: "L'an 1748 et le 12 avril a été baptisé à la Platière, Antoine-Laurent, né ce soir à quatre heures, fils légitime de sieur Christophe de Jussieu, maistre apothicaire à Lyon, et de demoiselle Jeanne Pallier."
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