Michel Adanson

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Adanson, Michel


Born Apr. 7, 1727; died Aug. 3, 1806. French botanist. Member of the French Academy of Sciences (1759).

Adanson was one of the founders of the natural system of plant classification, a variant of which he propounded in Families of Plants. In his search for the logical foundations of classification, he drew up 65 artificial systems, each one of which was based on a particular characteristic; comparing these systems, Adanson gauged the degree of proximity between related groups of plants, or taxons, thus becoming one of the pioneers in the application of mathematical methods to biology. Adanson believed in the possibility of transforming species. After 1772 he became infatuated with philosophy and with the Utopian idea of a single-handed compilation of a multivolume universal encyclopedia.


Adanson. The Bicentennial of Michel Adanson’s “Families des plantes,” parts 1–2. Pittsburgh, 1963.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unlike the plates for Adanson, which contain only her birth name, her postnuptial etchings are signed with both Reboul and the surname of her husband.
Melymaera, a new plant bug genus (Heteroptera: Miridae: Orthotylinae) inhabiting manzanita, Arctostaphylos Adanson (Ericaceae).
12) The coast of West Africa was visited by Michel Adanson, Henry Smeathman, and Adam Afzelius, but the natural history of the African interior remained unexplored, even though Banks, at the helm of the African Society, hastened to recommend explorers, such as Mungo Park, who were also trained botanists.
For example, while the naturalist Adanson, a contemporary of Linneaus, proposed a method for organizing botanical phenomena based on the identification of differences between individual specimens (Foucault, 1970), Linneaus advocated a systematic approach based on similarity of reproductive structure.
Restriction patterns were analyzed with the Taxotron package (Taxolab Software, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France) comprising the RestrictoScan, RestrictoTyper, Adanson, and Dendrograph programs.
nelsoni infections in oysters originating from Puerto Rico (Crassostrea rhizophorae Guilding) and Venezuela (Crassostrea gasar Adanson and/or C.