Story: European discovery of plants and animals

Linnaeus’s garden

Linnaeus’s garden

Carl Linnaeus of Sweden is considered the father of modern taxonomy (the science of classifying organisms). About 1,300 plants grow in Linnaeus's garden in Uppsala, Sweden – all are species that he cultivated. They are arranged in beds according to his classification system, which was based on observation and description. He devised seven major categories: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. The two most important are genus and species. Each known life form has a distinct species name. For example, red beech (Nothofagus fusca) and silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) both belong to the genus Nothofagus, but have different species names (fusca and menziesii). While Linnaeus’s system is still in use, it has been much revised.

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Private collection, Alison Parr

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How to cite this page:

John Andrews, 'European discovery of plants and animals - The first naturalists', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 October 2023)

Story by John Andrews, published 24 Sep 2007