The Info List - Joseph Pitton De Tournefort

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Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
(5 June 1656 – 28 December 1708) was a French botanist, notable as the first to make a clear definition of the concept of genus for plants. The botanist Charles Plumier had been his pupil and accompanied him on his voyages.


1 Life 2 Work 3 List of selected publications 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 External links


Tournefort's research journeys

Tournefort was born in Aix-en-Provence
and studied at the Jesuit convent there. It was intended that he enter the Church, but the death of his father allowed him to follow his interest in botany.[1] After two years collecting, he studied medicine at Montpellier, but was appointed professor of botany at the Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
in Paris
in 1683. During this time he travelled through Western Europe, particularly the Pyrenees, where he made extensive collections. Between 1700 and 1702 he travelled through the islands of Greece
and visited Constantinople, the borders of the Black Sea, Armenia, and Georgia, collecting plants and undertaking other types of observations. He was accompanied by the German botanist Andreas Gundelsheimer (1668–1715) and the artist Claude Aubriet (1651–1743). His description of this journey was published posthumously (Relation d'un voyage du Levant),[1] he himself having been killed by a carriage in Paris; the road on which he died now bears his name (Rue de Tournefort in the 5ème arrondissement). Work[edit] Tournefort's principal work was the 1694 Eléments de botanique, ou Méthode pour reconnaître les Plantes (the Latin translation of it Institutiones rei herbariae was published twice in 1700 and 1719). The principal artist was Claude Aubriet
Claude Aubriet
who later became the principal artist at the Jardin des Plantes. The classification followed was completely artificial, and neglected some important divisions established by earlier botanists, such as John Ray's separation of the phanerogams from the cryptogams, and his division of the flowering plants into monocots and dicots. Overall it was a step backwards in systematics, yet the text was so clearly written and well structured, and contained so much valuable information on individual species, that it became popular amongst botanists, and nearly all classifications published for the next fifty years were based upon it.[2] 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
Kaspar Bauhin
in particular consistently distinguished genera and species. Augustus Quirinus Rivinus had even advocated the use of binary nomenclature shortly before Tournefort's work was published.[2] The word "herbarium" also seems to have been an invention of Tournefort; previously herbaria had been called by a variety of names, such as Hortus siccus. His herbarium collection of 6,963 specimens was housed in Paris, in Jardin du Roi. Now part of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle.[3] List of selected publications[edit]

Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de (1694). Éléments de botanique ou methode pour connaître les plantes (Élémens de botanique ou methode pour connoître les plantes) (in French). Paris: Imprimerie Royale. , trans. as

Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de (1719) [1700]. Josephi Pitton Tournefort Aquisextiensis, doctoris medici Parisiensis, Academiae regiae scientiarum socii, et in horto regio botanices professoris, Institutiones rei herbariae (in Latin). I. Paris: Typographia regia.  Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de (1719) [1700]. Josephi Pitton Tournefort Aquisextiensis, doctoris medici Parisiensis, Academiae regiae scientiarum socii, et in horto regio botanices professoris, Institutiones rei herbariae (in Latin). II. Paris: Typographia regia. 

Histoire des plantes qui naissent aux environs de Paris, 1698 Relation d'un voyage du Levant, 1717 Traité de la matière médicale, 1717

See also[edit]

Antoine de Jussieu Bernard de Jussieu Michel Adanson

The standard author abbreviation Tourn. may be used to indicate this person in citing a botanical name. As plant names published before 1 May 1753 have no official status, the abbreviation of this pre-Linnaean botanist will seldom be used. References[edit]

^ a b Chisholm 1911. ^ a b Sachs, Julius von; Garnsey, Henry E. F. (translator); Balfour, Isaac Bayley (editor) (1890). History of Botany
(1530–1860). Oxford at the Clarendon Press. pp. 76–78. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ " Herbarium
J.P. de Tournefort (1656-1708)". brill.com. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  Isely, Duane (1994). One hundred and one botanists. Iowa State University Press. pp. 71–73. 

External links[edit]

KUL Digital version of Elemens de botanique ou methode pour connoitre les plantes 1694–1695. Digital edition of Institutiones rei herbariae, University and State Library Düsseldorf

Media related to Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort
at Wikimedia Commons

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 24663685 LCCN: n84102390 ISNI: 0000 0001 2099 9374 GND: 117628905 SELIBR: 237389 SUDOC: 031647987 BNF: cb12282135v (data) BIBSYS: 2014773 MGP: 101861 NLA: 35546260 NKC: mzk2008479917 ICCU: ITICCUSBLV201733 Botanist: Tourn. BNE: XX1351