Cabinet 12 - Flowers
Carl Peter Thunberg (1743-1828) was a disciple of Linnaeus. Thunberg has been called the 'father of South African botany' and the 'Japanese Linnaeus.' He visited the Cape in 1772 to 1775 and collected herbarium specimens for future study in Sweden, and while in Japan in 1775 to 1776, he not only studied Japanese flora, but also taught Western medicine to Japanese practitioners. In later life, he taught at Uppsala University and supervised many students who produced dissertations and theses on botanical topics. Petrus Elmstedt's work is just one of those publications.
Petrus Elmstedt, Dissertatio botanica de blaeria. Upsaliae [Uppsala], litteris J.F. Edman, 1802. Shoults Snb 1797 T
The name Large Donkey Orchid - Diuris longifolia - is logically derived from the appearance of the two lateral petals, protruding from the top of the flower like two ears of a donkey. It was one of the first three orchids from Western Australia to be named. It was documented by Robert Brown in his Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen, published in 1810. The original watercolour of the Large Donkey Orchid in this reproduction was executed by Edgar Dell, an artist resident in Western Australia since 1924.
'The Large Donkey Orchid', Supplement to The Western Mail, 9 December 1937, from Flowers of Western Australia. [Perth, WA]: Western Mail, 1933-1938. Special QK 461 FM32
In 1805, back in England after accompanying Matthew Flinders on his expedition to Australia, the botanist Robert Brown (1773-1858) was appointed clerk, librarian, and housekeeper to the Linnean Society of London. One result of his collecting and classifying was Prodromus florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen (1810), a limited edition work of only 250 copies that covered ferns, monocotyledons, and thirty-seven families of dicotyledons, plus the cycads. In it he established many new families and covered 464 genera (187 new) and about 1000 species. Hooker called Brown's work: 'the greatest botanical work that has ever appeared' (Joseph Hooker, 1859). This is the second edition.