Alphonse de Candolle (1806-93) was a French-Swiss botanist who was an important figure in the study of the origins of plants and the reasons for their geographic distribution. He also created the first Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Despite initially studying law, he took over both the chair of botany at the University of Geneva, and the directorship of Geneva’s botanical gardens from his father Augustin de Candolle (1778-1841). He published numerous botanical books, and edited ten volumes of the Prodromus, a seventeen-volume reference text intended to cover the key properties of all known seed plants. This work, reissued in the second edition of the English translation of 1886, is his most famous and influential book, tracing the geographic origins of plants known to have been cultivated by humans. It is one of the earliest studies of the history of crop domestication, and an important contribution to phytogeography.
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