Flora Atlantica, Volume 1: Sive Historia Plantarum Quae in Atlante, Agro Tunetano et Algeriensi Crescunt


A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

A member, and later president, of the Académie des Sciences, French botanist and doctor René Louiche Desfontaines (1750–1833) spent the years 1783–5 on an expedition to North Africa. During his time in Tunisia and Algeria, he collected over a thousand plant specimens: more than three hundred genera were new to European naturalists at this time. Having succeeded Le Monnier in the chair of botany at the Jardin du Roi in 1786, Desfontaines helped found the Institut de France following the Revolution and published his two-volume Flora Atlantica in Latin in 1798–9.

A lavishly illustrated second edition appeared in four volumes in 1800. Combining its two volumes of plates into one, this reissue of Flora Atlantica will give modern researchers an insight into the promulgation of pioneering plant science. Volume 1 contains the first thirteen classes of plants in the Linnaean system of taxonomy, from Monandria to Polyandria.

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