Page:History of botany (Sachs; Garnsey).djvu/38

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18
[Book I.
Botanists of Germany and the Netherlands

introduce into his work as many plants unknown till that time or unnoticed as he possibly could, and the number of descriptions of individual forms mounted rapidly up; in Fuchs in 1542 we find about five hundred species described and figured, but in 1623 the number of species as enumerated by Kaspar Bauhin had risen to six thousand. As the botanists were spread over a large part of Germany, Fuchs in Bavaria and afterwards at Tübingen, Bock on the middle Rhine, Konrad Gesner at Zurich, Dodoens and de l'Obel in the Netherlands, a territory of considerable extent was thus examined; it was enlarged by the contributions which travellers brought or transmitted to the botanists, and de l'Écluse especially traversed a large part of Germany and Hungary and even of Spain, and eagerly collected and described the plants of those countries. During this period also the number of known plants was increased from Italy, partly by the exertions of Italian botanists, such as Mattioli, and partly by travelling Germans. The first flora of the Thüringer-Wald was written by Thal, but not published till after his death in 1588. Botanical gardens even, though in more modest form than in our day, were already helping in the 16th century to add to the knowledge of plants; the first were formed in Italy, as at Padua in 1545, at Pisa in 1547, at Bologna in 1567 under Aldrovandi, afterwards under Cesalpino. Soon similar collections of living plants were made in the north; in 1577 a botanic garden was founded at Leyden, over which de l'Ecluse long presided, in 1593 at Heidelberg and at Montpellier; in the course of the next century the number of these gardens was considerably increased.

The preserving of dried plants, the formation of the collections which we now call herbaria, dates from the 16th century; at that time however the word herbarium meant a book of plants. In this matter also the Italians led the way. According to Ernst Meyer, Luca Chini seems to have been the first who made use of dried plants for scientific purposes, and his two pupils Aldrovandi and Cesalpino are said to have formed