GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Linnaean classification. Translation of Linnaeus's botanical classification system from the preface of The Botanic Garden (1789-92), a poem on science and nature by Erasmus Darwin. The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) devised a system in which flowering plant species were divided into classes according to the number of stamens (male organs) in the flower, and subdivided into orders according to the number of pistils (female organs). Although this system has since passed into obscurity, his binomial nomenclature - in which each plant was given a Latinesque genus and species name - remains in use today.
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