DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plate from 18th century encyclopedia showing illustrations of Tornefort's genera of plants. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort was a French botanist, notable as the first to make a clear definition of the concept of genus for plants. Tournefort is often credited with being the first to make a clear distinction between genus and species. Though he did indeed cluster the 7, 000 plant species that he described into around 700 genera, this was not particularly original. Concepts of genus and species had been framed as early as the 16th century, and Kaspar Bauhin in particular consistently distinguished genera and species. The illustration shows different classes of trees and plants.
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