Cesalpino, Andrea 1519-1603

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Cesalpino hated school work as a child but surprisingly enough became an outstanding scholar. He went to the University of Pisa, Italy, and studied both medicine and botany. He eventually became Director of the Botanic Garden at the University of Bologna where he also became Professor of Botany and Medicine. He finally became physician to Pope Clement VIII.

His most famous work De Plantis appeared in 1583. It consisted of 16 books of which 15 describe 1500 plants. His herbarium consisting of 260 pages with 768 well mounted plants is still extant.

He was essentially a philosopher of the Aristotelian school. He sought a philosophical basis for plant classification rather than the utilitarian approach of medicine. He recognized a definite pattern of phyllotaxy, and believed flowers arose from leaves. He exerted a very profound influence upon botanists of the following century. Many of his ideas were fallacious.

Andre Cesalpino

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/