Thomas Walter (c. 1740 – January 17, 1789) was a British-born American botanist best known for his book Flora Caroliniana (1788), the first flora set in North America to utilize the Linnaean system of classification.
Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη (botanē) meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder"; βοτάνη is in turn derived from βόσκειν (boskein), "to feed" or "to graze". Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study approximately 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, and approximately 20,000 are bryophytes.
Linnaean taxonomy can mean either of two related concepts:
Walter was born in Hampshire, England, around 1740. Little is known of his family background or early life. He evidently received a good education but no details are available. Sometime before 1769 he arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked as a merchant. He later acquired a rice plantation on the Santee River where he lived for the rest of his life.
The Santee River is a river in South Carolina in the United States, and is 143 miles (230 km) long. The Santee and its tributaries provide the principal drainage for the coastal areas of southeastern South Carolina and navigation for the central coastal plain of South Carolina, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean approximately 440 miles (708 km) from its farthest headwater on the Catawba River in North Carolina. The Santee River is the second largest river on the eastern coast of the United States, second only to the Susquehanna River in drainage area and flow. Much of the upper river is impounded by the expansive, horn-shaped Lake Marion reservoir, formed by the 8-mile (13 km)-long Santee Dam. The dam was built during the Great Depression of the 1930s as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project to provide a major source of hydroelectric power for the state of South Carolina.
He became interested in botany and undertook a detailed plant survey within a fifty-mile radius of his home, collecting seeds for his garden and building an extensive herbarium.Based on this effort, Walter completed a manuscript in 1787 containing a summary of all the flowering plant species found in the region. It was the first comprehensive regional flora set in eastern North America and the first to use Linnaeus' binomial naming conventions. Walter gave the manuscript to fellow-botanist John Fraser who took it to England and arranged for its publication in 1788. Flora Caroliniana provided brief Latin descriptions for over 1,000 plant species in 435 genera.
A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens and associated data used for scientific study..
John Fraser, FLS, F.R.H.S., was a Scottish botanist who collected plant specimens around the world, from North America and the West Indies to Russia and points between, with his primary career activity from 1780 to 1810. Fraser was a commissioned plant collector for Catherine, Czar of Russia in 1795, Paul I of Russia in 1798, and for the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1806; he issued nursery catalogues c. 1790 and 1796, and had an important herbarium that was eventually sold to the Linnean Society.
Walter is credited with the discovery of some 200 new species and four new genera. Today, 88 of these species and one genus ( Amsonia ) still bear the valid names provided by Walter in his Flora.
Amsonia is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, first described as a genus in 1788. It is native primarily to North America with one species in East Asia and another in the eastern Mediterranean. It was named in honor of the American physician John Amson. Members of the genus are commonly known as bluestars.
Walter died on January 17, 1789, shortly after the publication of his flora. His herbarium was taken to England by Fraser and eventually purchased by the British Museum of Natural History where it still exists. Since his death, eight plant species have been named in his honor.
George Bentham was an English botanist, described by the weed botanist Duane Isely as "the premier systematic botanist of the nineteenth century".
Sir William Jackson Hooker was an English systematic botanist and organiser, and botanical illustrator. He held the post of Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University, and was Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He enjoyed the friendship and support of Sir Joseph Banks for his exploring, collecting and organising work. His son, Joseph Dalton Hooker, succeeded him to the Directorship of Kew Gardens.
Sir James Edward Smith was an English botanist and founder of the Linnean Society.
William Thomas Stearn was a British botanist. Born in Cambridge in 1911, he was largely self-educated, and developed an early interest in books and natural history. His initial work experience was at a Cambridge bookshop, but he also had a position as an assistant in the university botany department. At the age of 29 he married Eldwyth Ruth Alford, who later became his collaborator. He died in London in 2001, survived by his widow and three children.
Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle was an 18th-century French botanist and magistrate. Born into an affluent upper-class Parisian family, connections with the French Royal Court secured him the position of Superintendent of Parisian Waters and Forests at the age of twenty-six. In this capacity, L'Héritier conducted various studies of native trees and shrubs, also gaining interest in exotic flora.
Elmer Drew Merrill was an American botanist and taxonomist. He spent more than twenty years in the Philippines where he became a recognized authority on the flora of the Asia-Pacific region. Through the course of his career he authored nearly 500 publications, described approximately 3,000 new plant species, and amassed over one million herbarium specimens. In addition to his scientific work he was an accomplished administrator, college dean, university professor and editor of scientific journals.
Olof Peter Swartz was a Swedish botanist and taxonomist. He is best known for his taxonomic work and studies into pteridophytes.
Charles Austin Gardner was a Western Australian botanist.
The Reverend John Lightfoot was an English parson-naturalist, spending much of his free time as a conchologist and botanist. He was a systematic and effective curator of the private museum of Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland. He is best known for his Flora Scotica which pioneered the scientific study of the plants and fungi of Scotland. He elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his scientific work.
He was an excellent scholar in many branches of literature; but after the study of his profession, he addicted himself chiefly to that of botany and conchyliologie [sic]. He excelled in both.
Anemone caroliniana, the Carolina anemone, is a herbaceous plant species in the genus Anemone and family Ranunculaceae. Plants grow (7)10 to 40 cm tall, from short tuber-like rhizomes that are 10–30 mm long. Stem leaves without petioles. Plants flowering early to mid spring with the flowers composed of 10 to 20 sepals normally white or soft rose colored but also purple, one flower per stem, the sepals are 10 to 22 mm long and 2–5 mm wide. Fruits in heads ovoid to subcylindric in shape, 17–25 mm long.
William Jack FRSE was a noted Scottish botanist and medical practitioner.
Arthur Stanley Pease was a professor of Classics, a respected amateur botanist, and the tenth president of Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Pease was once described by his fellow faculty members as an "indefatigable pedestrian, and New Englander to the core."
Ihsan Ali Al-Shehbaz, Ph.D. is an Iraqi American botanist who works as Adjunct Professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis and Senior Curator at Missouri Botanical Garden. Al-Shehbaz's primary area of interest is Brassicaceae and The Durango Herald called him "a world expert on taxonomy of the family". A 2008 publication of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service called him "the world's authority on species in the genus Lesquerella". The author abbreviation "Al-Shehbaz" is attached to the numerous botanical taxa he has identified.
John Clayton (1694/5–1773) was a Colonial plant collector and botanist in Virginia.
Harriet Margaret Louisa BolusnéeKensit was a South African botanist and taxonomist, and the longtime curator of the Bolus Herbarium, from 1903. Bolus also has the legacy of authoring more land plant species than any other female scientist, in total naming 1,494 species.
Joseph Martin was an Enlightenment gardener-botanist and plant collector who worked at the Jardin du Roi in Paris. He was sent on collecting expeditions to the Isle de France, Madagascar, Cape and Caribbean.
Xyris caroliniana, the Carolina yelloweyed grass, is a North American species of flowering plant in the yellow-eyed-grass family. It is native to Cuba and to the coastal plain of the southern and eastern United States from eastern Texas to New Jersey.
Edward Forster, the younger (1765–1849) was an English banker and botanist.
Mary Anna Day (1852–1924) was an American botanist and librarian at the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University from 1893 to 1924. She edited and compiled the Card Index of New Genera, Species, and Varieties of American Plants, a quarterly publication that was considered "indispensable" to botanists. By 1923, the publication contained about 170,000 cards. Her publications also include a "List of local floras of New England" and "Herbariums of New England" for the New England Botanical Club.
|This article about an American botanist is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|