Skip to content
Children learning @ Catholic Online School Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Joseph Pitton de Tournefort

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

French botanist, b. at Aix in Provence, 5 June, 1656; d. at Paris, 28 Dec., 1708. After his school-days at a Jesuit college he studied theology at Aix, but in 1677 he turned his attention entirely to botany. He studied medicine at Montpellier and Barcelona. In 1683 he was made a professor and director at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris ; he became later a member of the Academy (1692), a doctor of medicine (1698), and professor of medicine at the Collège de France (1702). Tournefort is recognized as a botanical explorer, and as the author of the artificial system of plants named after him. As a youth he travelled repeatedly through western Europe, exploring particularly the region of the Pyrenees. In 1700-2 he visited the Orient, passing through Greece. The account of this journey, "Relation d'un voyage du Levant" (Paris, 1717), appeared after his death; his work is a classic and was translated into English (1741) and German (1776). He collected 1356 species of plants during this one journey.

Tournefort's system of classifying plants is based on the form of the corolla. Up to about 1750 the system was in high repute, being accepted even by Linnæus, but as research advanced it lost its importance. Of permanent importance are the clear distinction Tournefort makes between genus and species, and the exhaustive analyses of genera which he was the first to draw up and illustrate. Linnæus says of him: "Primus characteres genericos condidit." He expounded his system in his "Eléments de botanique" (3 vols. in 8°, Paris, 1694), containing 451 plates; rewritten in Latin as "Institutiones rei herbariæ" (3 vols., Paris, 1700), with 476 plates (in 1703 a supplement was issued containing thirteen plates; a new edition by Adrien de Jussieu in 1719; English tr., London, 1735, French tr., Lyons, 1797). The "Institutiones" was preceded by a defence of his system which was entitled, "De optima methode instituenda in re herbaria" (Paris, 1697), and by a "Histoire des plantes qui naissent aux environs de Paris" (Paris, 1698), an English translation of which appeared in 1732. A genus with about 120 species, belonging to the family of the Borraginaceæ, was named by Linnæus Tournefortia , and still retains this designation.

Crowd at BBQ with Montana Ranch and Cattle meat As a big thank you for your service to our Church, Montana Ranch and Cattle offers you a special discount. Enjoy 25% off ‘The Greatest Meat on Earth’.

By the Grace of God, with the help of Montana Ranch and Cattle, Catholic Online School has become one of the fastest-growing, online K-Adult schools in the world. The school now has over 915,000 student enrollments from 193 countries. Click to Save 25% Now >


Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!