Botanists

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 1 
Carl Linnaeus
(Botanist)
Carl Linnaeus
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Birthdate: May 23, 1707
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Linnés Råshults Stiftelse, Älmhult Municipality, Sweden
Died: January 10, 1778

Swedish botanist and lecturer Carl Linnaeus, who established the concept of binomial nomenclature, or the system of naming organisms, is also known as the father of modern taxonomy. His system of classification is known as Linnaean taxonomy. He was the first to include humans and apes under the header Anthropomorpha.

 2 
Jagadish Chandra Bose
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Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 3 
John Muir
(Naturalist)
John Muir
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Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

 4 
Lynn Margulis
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Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: November 22, 2011

Lynn Margulis was an evolutionary theorist, biologist, educator, and science author. She was a modern proponent of the significance of symbiosis in evolution. Along with British chemist James Lovelock, Margulis was the co-developer of the Gaia hypothesis. She was a strong critic of neo-Darwinism. In 2001, she was honored with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. 

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 5 
Marie Stopes
(Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists)
Marie Stopes
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Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 6 
Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
(Botanist, Pharmacist, Physician, Agronomist, Nutritionist)
Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
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Birthdate: August 12, 1737
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montdidier
Died: December 17, 1813

While in prison, in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War, army pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier was forced to eat potatoes, which were considered fit only for prison ration and animal feed back then. Parmentier later persuaded the Paris Faculty of Medicine to declare potatoes edible and popularized them in France.

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 7 
Gifford Pinchot
(First Chief of the US Forest Service & Former Governor of Pennsylvania)
Gifford Pinchot
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Birthdate: August 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: October 4, 1946

Gifford Pinchot was an American politician and forester. He is best remembered for his service as the first chief of the US Forest Service from February 1905 to January 1910. Gifford Pinchot also served as the Governor of Pennsylvania on two occasions; from 16 January 1923 to 18 January 1927 and again from 20 January 1931 to 15 January 1935.

 8 
Joseph Banks
(Botanist)
Joseph Banks
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Birthdate: February 24, 1743
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 19, 1820

British naturalist Joseph Banks is remembered for accompanying Captain James Cook on his voyage across places such as Brazil and Tahiti. He had also been the president of the Royal Society for over 40 years. Both his herbarium and library now find a place at the British Museum.

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 9 
Eva Ekeblad
(Swedish Agronomist Known for Discovering a Method in 1746 to Make Alcohol and Flour From Potatoes)
Eva Ekeblad
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Birthdate: July 10, 1724
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: May 15, 1786

Eva Ekeblad was a Swedish countess, agronomist, salon hostess, and scientist. In 1746, she discovered a method to make flour and alcohol from potatoes which earned her popularity. Her discovery made her the first female inductee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748.

 10 
David Bellamy
(British Botanist, Television Presenter and Environmental Activist)
David Bellamy
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Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 11, 2019

Once regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on botany and the environment, David Bellamy was also a successful TV presenter and was a regular on BBC programs. However, he later claimed that he was shunned by the TV fraternity for his denial of the importance of climate change.

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 11 
Gertrude Jekyll
(Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect)
Gertrude Jekyll
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Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

Landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll was born into an affluent family and grew up in a refined environment, learning music and traveling. Initially interested in painting, she gave it up to focus on gardening when she developed eyesight problems. She built around 400 gardens and also collaborated with Sir Edwin Lutyens.

 12 
Robert Brown
(Botanist)
Robert Brown
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Birthdate: December 21, 1773
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montrose, Scotland
Died: June 10, 1858

Copley Medal-winning Scottish botanist Robert Brown is remembered for his detailed descriptions on topics such as the cell nuclei and what later came to be known as the Brownian motion. After studying medicine, he had also served the British Army as a surgeon and also toured the Australian shores aboard The Investigator.

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 13 
Jan Ingenhousz
(Botanist, Physician, Physicist)
Jan Ingenhousz
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Birthdate: December 8, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Breda
Died: September 7, 1799

The man who discovered photosynthesis, Jan Ingenhousz was born in the Netherlands but later settled in England. He is also remembered for his pioneering research on thermal conduction and the prevention of smallpox and even successfully inoculated the Habsburg family against smallpox. He was also Maria Theresa’s personal doctor.

 14 
Joseph Dalton Hooker
(British Botanist, Explorer and Founder of Geographical Botany)
Joseph Dalton Hooker
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Birthdate: June 30, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halesworth, Suffolk, England
Died: December 10, 1911

British botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker is remembered as one of Charles Darwin’s greatest supporters. The man who is known as the pioneer of geographical botany, Hooker followed in the footsteps of his botanist father. The Copley Medal winner is also known for his iconic work Genera Plantarum.

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 15 
Matthias Jakob Schleiden
(German Botanist & Co-founder of 'Cell Theory')
Matthias Jakob Schleiden
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Birthdate: April 5, 1804
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: June 23, 1881

Matthias Jakob Schleiden was a German botanist who is credited with co-founding cell theory along with Rudolf Virchow and Theodor Schwann. He is also remembered for his service as a professor at the University of Dorpat from the mid 1860s.

 16 
Luther Burbank
(Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer)
Luther Burbank
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Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Died: April 11, 1926

Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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 17 
Terence McKenna
(American Ethnobotanist, Mystic and One of the Leading Authorities on the Ontological Foundations of Shamanism)
Terence McKenna
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Birthdate: November 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paonia, Colorado, United States
Died: April 3, 2000
Philosopher, ethnobotanist, and public speaker Terence McKenna was the proponent of concepts such as the Novelty Theory and Machine Elf. His work revolved around subjects such as psychedelic drugs, shamanism, alchemy, and metaphysics. He wrote several books and supported the usage of psychedelic mushrooms to experience different states of mind.
 18 
David Starr Jordan
(Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist)
David Starr Jordan
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Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931

Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.

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Anna Atkins
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Apart from being a botanist, Anna Atkins was also known for releasing some of the first botanical photographs. The daughter of a scientist, she also illustrated her father’s written works. She remains the first-known person to have used photography for a scientific purpose. She was also part of the London Botanical Society.

 20 
Li Ching-Yuen
(Herbalist)
Li Ching-Yuen
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Birthplace: Chongqing, China
Died: May 6, 1933

Li Ching-Yuen was a Chinese martial artist, herbalist, and tactical advisor. Li Ching-Yuen, who is believed to have lived off a diet of rice wine and exotic herbs throughout his life, is best remembered for his extreme longevity claim. According to his claim, Li Ching-Yuen lived for 250 years, although gerontologists consider that to be a myth.

 21 
Hugo de Vries
(Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher)
Hugo de Vries
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Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935
 22 
Ynes Mexia
(Mexican-American Botanist Best Known For Her Large Collection of Plants)
Ynes Mexia
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Birthdate: May 24, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 12, 1938

Ynes Mexia was a Mexican-American botanist best remembered for her large collection of specimens of plants and flora originating from the sites of Mexico, Peru, and Colombia. She collected more than 150,000 specimens over a period of 16 years, during which she encountered various challenges, including dangerous terrain, poisonous berries, earthquakes, and bogs. 

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 23 
Martinus Beijerinck
(Microbiologist)
Martinus Beijerinck
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Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931
 24 
Daniel Rutherford
(Former physician, chemist and botanist who is known for the isolation of nitrogen in 1772)
Daniel Rutherford
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Birthdate: November 3, 1749
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: November 15, 1819

Best known for discovering nitrogen gas, Scottish chemist Daniel Rutherford was also initially a practicing physician. A skilled botanist, he also taught botany at the University of Edinburgh. His other inventions include the maximum and minimum thermometers. He also co-founded the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

 25 
Dmitri Ivanovsky
(Russian Botanist, the Co-Discoverer of Viruses and One of the Founders of Virology)
Dmitri Ivanovsky
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Birthdate: October 28, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gdov, Russia
Died: June 20, 1920

Best remembered for his co-discovery of viruses during his research on the mosaic disease in tobacco, Russian botanist Dmitri Ivanovsky is regarded as one of the pioneers of virology. Interestingly, following his discovery, he didn’t focus on virology much and taught plant anatomy and physiology instead.

 26 
Conrad Gessner
(Swiss Physician, Naturalist and Philologist Known for His Systematic Compilations of Information on Animals and Plants)
Conrad Gessner
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Birthdate: March 26, 1516
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1565

Born to a poor fur dealer, Conrad Gessner was sent to study under an uncle who dealt in medicinal herbs. He then studied theology but later grew up to become a Renaissance polymath, excelling in subjects such as natural history and medicine. His Bibliotheca universalis remains a major work in bibliography.

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 27 
Asa Gray
(The Most Prominent Botanist of the 19th Century)
Asa Gray
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Birthdate: November 18, 1810
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sauquoit, New York, United States
Died: January 30, 1888

Asa Gray was an American botanist best remembered for authoring a book on botany, which came to be known as Gray's Manual. He also served as a professor at Harvard University and often met leading natural scientists of his time, including Charles Darwin. Asa Gray is widely regarded as the most prominent botanist of the 19th century.

 28 
James Bruce
(Explorer, Archaeologist, Film editor, Botanist)
James Bruce
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Birthdate: December 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stirling
Died: April 27, 1794

Scottish explorer James Bruce is best known for his treatises of travel and his discovery of the source of the Blue Nile. Initially a wine merchant, he later became a British consul in Algiers and decided to explore North Africa. He traveled to places such as Syria, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

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 29 
Nikolai Vavilov
(Russian Geneticist and Agronomist Who Was Imprisoned for His Unconventional Scientific Beliefs)
Nikolai Vavilov
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Birthdate: November 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 26, 1943
 30 
Joseph Banks Rhine
(American Botanist Who Founded Parapsychology as a Branch of Psychology)
Joseph Banks Rhine
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Birthdate: September 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 20, 1980

Joseph Banks Rhine was an American botanist best remembered for his research and study of parapsychology. He is credited with founding Duke University's parapsychology lab, the Parapsychological Association (PA), the Rhine Research Center, and the Journal of Parapsychology.

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 31 
Peter Simon Pallas
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Birthdate: September 22, 1741
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 8, 1811
 32 
David Douglas
(Botanist)
David Douglas
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Birthdate: June 25, 1799
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scone, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: July 12, 1834
 33 
Philipp Franz von Siebold
(Physician, Botanist)
Philipp Franz von Siebold
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Birthdate: February 17, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: October 18, 1866
 34 
William Bartram
(The First Naturalist Who Penetrated the Dense Tropical Forests of Florida)
William Bartram
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Birthdate: April 20, 1739
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 22, 1823

William Bartram was an American ornithologist, botanist, explorer, and natural historian. He is best remembered for authoring an acclaimed book, which is now known as Bartram's Travels. The book chronicles Bartram's explorations of the British colonies in North America. William Bartram was also one of America's first ornithologists.

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 35 
Francis Darwin
(Botanist)
Francis Darwin
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Birthdate: August 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: September 19, 1925

Apart from being the third son of legendary naturalist Charles Darwin, Francis Darwin was a botanist in his own right, too. While he initially studied math, he later switched to natural sciences and then also studied medicine. He is best remembered for his contribution to phototropism.

 36 
Herman Boerhaave
(Botanist, Physician)
Herman Boerhaave
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Birthdate: December 31, 1668
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Voorhout, Netherlands
Died: September 23, 1738
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 37 
Stephen Hales
(Botanist, Physicist, Chemist)
Stephen Hales
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Birthdate: September 17, 1677
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: January 4, 1761

Apart from being a scientist, Stephen Hales was also a clergyman. He went down in history as the first person to quantitatively measure human blood pressure and also discovered transpiration in plants. He also invented surgical and other medical devices. He devoted himself to charitable causes following his wife’s death.

 38 
John Gerard
(Botanist)
John Gerard
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Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Nantwich, Cheshire, England
Died: January 31, 1612

British herbalist John Gerard is best remembered for his iconic book The Herball, known as the first catalogue for plants. However, experts feel it was mostly plagiarized from a similar collection by Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens. Apart from details about plants, he also included folklore in his works.

 39 
Lester Frank Ward
(American Paleontologist, Botanist, and Sociologist Who Promoted Bringing Sociology Courses Into the Higher Education System in America)
Lester Frank Ward
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Birthdate: June 18, 1841
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
Died: April 18, 1913

Lester Frank Ward was an American paleontologist, botanist, and sociologist. He is best remembered for his service as the American Sociological Association's first president. Lester Frank Ward played an important role in bringing Sociology courses into the higher education system in America. 

 40 
John Bartram
(One of the World's Greatest Natural Botanists)
John Bartram
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Birthdate: March 23, 1699
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Darby, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 22, 1777

John Bartram was an Anglo-American colonial botanist, explorer, and horticulturist. Regarded by some as one of the world's greatest natural botanists, Bartram is credited with starting one of America's first botanic gardens in 1728. The botanic garden, which is now referred to as Bartram's Garden, is a National Historic Landmark. 

 41 
Pierre-Joseph Redouté
(Belgian Painter Known for His Watercolours of Roses, Lilies and Other Flowers at the 'Château de Malmaison')
Pierre-Joseph Redouté
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Birthdate: July 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Hubert, Belgium
Died: June 19, 1840

Belgian-born French painter and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté, also known as the Raphael of flowers, was a famous court painter and one of the greatest botanical illustrators of his time. Known for his iconic pieces such as Les Liliacées, he was a specialist of painting roses, too.

 42 
Robert Whittaker
(American Plant Ecologist and the First Person to Put Forward Five Kingdom Taxonomic Classification)
Robert Whittaker
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Birthdate: December 27, 1920
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States
Died: October 20, 1980

Robert Whittaker was an American plant ecologist best remembered as the first person to put forward the five kingdom taxonomic classification, namely Animalia, Plantae, Protista, Fungi, and Monera. He also served as a teacher at Washington State College. During his career, Robert Whittaker was honored with several prestigious awards such as the Eminent Ecologist Award in 1981. 

 43 
David Fairchild
(American Botanist and Plant Explorer Credited With Introducing Over 200,000 Exotic Plants to the United States)
David Fairchild
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Birthdate: April 7, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States
Died: August 6, 1954

David Fairchild was an American plant explorer and botanist. He is credited with introducing over 200,000 exotic plants to the United States. He also introduced varieties of established crops, including soybeans, mangos, bamboos, dates, and pistachios. In 1933, the National Academy of Sciences honored him with the Public Welfare Medal.

 44 
Janaki Ammal
(Botanist)
Janaki Ammal
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Birthdate: 1897 AD
Birthplace: Thalassery
Died: 1984 AD

Janaki Ammal was an Indian botanist whose work concerning phytogeography, cytogenetics, and plant breeding earned her India's fourth-highest honor, the Padma Shri, in 1977. She is credited with improving India’s indigenous sugarcane varieties. She also helped analyze sugarcane's geographical distribution across India.

 45 
Leonhart Fuchs
(Physician)
Leonhart Fuchs
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Birthdate: January 17, 1501
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wemding, Germany
Died: May 10, 1566

Sixteenth-century German physician and botanist Leonhart Fuchs is best known for his extensive research on the medicinal properties of plants and herbs. His work Historia Stirpium is an invaluable treatise on the history of plants. The plant Fuchsia found in the Caribbean was named in his honor.

 46 
Philip Miller
(English botanist)
Philip Miller
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Birthdate: 1691 AD
Birthplace: London
Died: December 18, 1771
The son of a gardener, Philip Miller followed in his father’s footsteps and devoted 50 years of his life to the Chelsea Physic Garden as its chief gardener. The Gardeners Dictionary, penned by him, became a gardener’s Bible. He was also named a Fellow of The Royal Society.
 47 
Georg Wilhelm Steller
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Birthdate: March 10, 1709
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim, Germany
Died: November 14, 1746

German-born zoologist and botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller traveled to Russia on a troop ship. He was later part of the Great Northern Expedition, aboard the St. Peter, aimed at locating a sea route from Russia to North America. The Steller’s sea cow, discovered by him, went extinct later.

 48 
Avempace
(Polymath)
Avempace
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Birthdate: 1085 AD
Birthplace: Zaragoza, Spain
Died: 1138 AD

Spanish Arab philosopher and scholar Avempace excelled in a variety of subjects, such as astronomy, music, medicine, and poetry. His treatise on botany Kitāb an-Nabāt described how plant sexes differ. His other works include Tadbīr al-mutawaḥḥid. He was believed to be an atheist by many.

Augustin Pyrame de Candolle
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Birthdate: February 4, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 1841

Swiss botanist Augustin Pyrame de Candolle excelled in literature and poetry in school but later focused on botany. He is remembered for establishing scientific standards and classification for plant genera. Known for his Théorie élémentaire de la botanique, he later lent his name to several plant species and genera.

 50 
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq
(Flemish Diplomat Who Was an Ambassador to Turkey)
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq
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Birthdate: 1522 AD
Birthplace: Comines, France
Died: October 28, 1592

Flemish diplomat Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served several Austrian emperors, including Ferdinand I. He was an ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey, and wrote extensively on Turkish life and culture. His final years were spent at the service of Elizabeth of Austria. He also collected manuscripts and curios.

Botanists are people who study botany (the science of studying plant biology) and conduct research base on their studies. Apart from plants, they also study fungi and algae. Conducting research on fossilized plants is the job of those botanists who have specialized knowledge in paleobotany. Botanists possess specific knowledge in ethnobotany which is the study of the use of plants by different cultures. Identification and classification of new species of plants are some of the important segments of a botanist’s work. Scientific study of plants helps us to comprehend the effect of plants on human and animals. Their study also works to determine the medicinal effect of any plant. Armed with modern scientific equipment, botanists conduct studies into the genetic structure of specific plants. To investigate the effects of various environmental factors like temperature, sunlight, soil and rainfall on plants is a part of a botanist’s profession. By using biochemical and molecular techniques, botanists also examine the nature of evolution of plants. Based on their findings, they prepare scientific reports and papers. They play a key role in developing drugs and other products from plants. Their study plays a vital role in controlling the factors of pollution in nature. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous botanists.