Michel Adanson


Early exposure to the number and diversity of tropical plants in Senegal influenced Michel Adanson’s thinking about natural classification and led him to consider grouping plants by affinities observed among multiple relationships of characteristics. Some have noted that his descriptions of taxa were more or less equivalent to modern orders and that he, more than any other, established natural classification as a fundamental aim of biology. His system was published in the Familles des Plantes.

Right: HI Archives portrait no. 1.

Michel Adanson (1727–1806). Familles des Plantes ... (Paris, 1763).