The first career of Robert Sweet (1783–1835) was as a gardener in private employment and as a nurseryman. He turned in 1826 to botanical writing, having already published Hortus suburbanus Londinensis (1818), and the first of the five-volume Geraniaceae (1820–30). The first edition of this work was published in 1826, and this revised second edition in 1830. Sweet uses Jussieu’s ‘natural’ system of classification, but concedes that ‘we still consider the addition of the Linnaean classes and orders, of great use, as they are so readily attained by the young Botanist’. He provides nine two-column closely packed pages of source works in which images of the plants cited in this unillustrated work can be found, and which also testify to the breadth of his own research in producing a reference work which is comprehensive as a record of plants then growing and flowering in British gardens.
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