Page:An introduction to physiological and systematical botany (1st edition).djvu/385

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rican plants to Tournefort's classes, he found them so untractabie, that, after attempting in vain to correct or augment the system, he should probably have given up the science in despair, had not the works of Linnæus fallen in his way.

Magnol, Professor at Montpellier, and even Linnæus himself, formed schemes of arranging plants by the calyx, which nobody has followed. All preceding systems, and all controversies respecting their superior merits, were laid aside, as soon as the famous Linnæan method of classification, founded on the Stamens and Pistils, became known in the botanical world. Linnæus, after proving these organs to be the most essential of all to the very being of a plant, first conceived the fortunate idea of rendering them subservient to the purposes of methodical arrangement, taking into consideration their number, situation and proportion. How these principles are applied, we shall presently explain; but some previous observations are necessary.

Linnaeus first made a distinction between a natural and an artificial method of botanical arrangement. His predecessors pro-