FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCES EVELEGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plant taxonomy. A few of the plants collected by John Ray (1627-1705), the pioneer of plant taxonomy. Ray collected these specimens from Devil's Dike, near Cambridge, in the early part of his career as a naturalist. Ray divided the plants into three taxa: the cryptogams or flowerless plants, the monocotyledons and the dicotyledons; the basis of the system still used today. Ray's work covers the taxonomy of about 18,600 species, and resulted in the best taxonomy of flora until the work of Linnaeus more than fifty years later. During his researches, Ray was financially supported by an ex-pupil, F. Willughby.
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