|Franipani (Plumeria) flowers in Perth, Western Australia|
|Charles Plumier |
(1646 – 1704)
Charles Plumier's first big journey started in 1689. By order of the government, Plumier accompanied the collector Joseph Donat Surian to the French Antilles, as Surian's illustrator and writer. The journey lasted for about one year and a half and resulted in Plumier's first masterpiece, the Description des Plantes d'Amérique, published in 1693. This work was very successful and Plumier was appointed royal botanist shortly after.
The second voyage took of in 1693 by command of Louis XIV of France and another expedition followed two years later. In the West Indies, he was assisted by the Dominican botanist Jean-Baptiste Labat. The material they gathered during these trips formed an incredible foundation for Plumier's later works, Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera, Plumier's Filicetum Americanum, and several shorter pieces for the Journal des Savants and the Memoires de Trévoux.
Charles Plumier passed away on 20 November 1704. He left numerous manuscript volumes containing notes and descriptions, and about 6,000 drawings, 4,000 of which were of plants, while the remainder reproduced American animals of nearly all classes, especially birds and fishes. The Plumeria, a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, was named after Charles Plumier by Tournefort and Linnaeus.
At yovisto, you may be interested in a video lecture on 'Human Livelihoods Depend on Wild Flowers: Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank explained'.
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