Carl Peter Thunberg


Perhaps Linnaeus’ most famous pupil, Thunberg took his Uppsala degree in medicine. Linnaeus introduced Thunberg to friends in Paris, through whom Thunberg was invited to accompany a Dutch expedition to Japan in 1772. On the way to Japan he stopped in South Africa to learn to speak Dutch; the plants he studied there preoccupied him for the rest of his life and are the basis of his work in Prodromus Plantarum. Upon his return to Sweden in 1779, Thunberg was appointed botanical demonstrator at the University of Uppsala.

Right: HI Archives portrait no. 2.

Carl Peter Thunberg (1743–1828). Prodromus Plantarum Capensium … (Uppsala, 1794).

Thunberg travelled and collected in South Africa, Japan, Java and Ceylon. This work is a study of the flora of the region of the Cape of Good Hope and includes generic diagnoses.
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