Page:History of botany (Sachs; Garnsey).djvu/405

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CHAP, i.] Rudolph Jacob Caincrarius. 385

will appear in the following section. Linnaeus was right when he says in his ' Amoenitates ' (1749), I. p. 62, that it was Camerarius who first clearly demonstrated (perspicue demon- stravit) the sexuality of plants and the mode of their pro- pagation.




WE have seen that all that was known with regard to sexuality in plants up to 1691 was comprised in the facts related by Theophrastus concerning the date-palm, the tere- binth, and the ' malus medica,' and in the conjectures of Mil- lington, Grew, and Ray, while Malpighi's views in opposition to these later authors were considered to be equally well founded. The sexuality^ of plants could only be raised to the rank of a scientific fact in one way, that namely of experiment ; it had to be shown that no seed capable of germination could be formed without the co-operation of the pollen. All historic records concur in proving, that Camerarius was the first who attempted to solve the question in this way, and that he fol- lowed up this attempt by many other experiments. It is quite another question how the fertilising matter reaches the germ which is capable of being fertilised, and this could not be entertained till experiment had established the fact, that the pollen is absolutely indispensable to fertilisation.

To Johann Christian Mikan, Professor of Botany in Prague, is due the merit of having collected the scattered and therefore almost forgotten writings of RUDOLPH JACOB CAMERARIUS J , and

1 Rudolph Jacob Camerarius was born at Tubingen in 1665 and died there in 1 7 2 1 . I laving completed the course of study in philosophy and medi-

cine, he travelled from 1685 * l ^<1 in Germany, Holland, England, France, and Italy. In 1688 he became Professor Extraordinary and Director of the Botanic Garden in Tubingen; in 1689 Professor of Natural Philosophy;

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