Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V26, Page 898 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KARL PETER THUNBERG (1743-1828), Swedish naturalist, was born at Jonkoping on the 11th of November 1743, and became a pupil of Linnaeus at the university of Upsala. After graduating in medicine there in 1770 he obtained an appointment as surgeon in the Dutch East India Company, and sailed to the Cape of Good Hope in 1772. He spent three years there, and then went to Japan, where he remained till 1778, engaged in making collections of plants. On his return in 1779 he visited England, and made the acquaintance of Sir Joseph Banks. In 1781 he was appointed demonstrator of botany at Upsala, and he succeeded the younger Linnaeus as professor of botany in 1784. He published his Flora japonica in 1784, and in 1788 he began to publish his travels. He completed his Prodomus plantarum in 1800, his Icones plantarum japonicarum in 1805, and his Flora capensis in 1813. He published numerous memoirs in the transactions of many Swedish and other scientific societies, of sixty-six of which he was an honorary member. He died near Upsala on the 8th of August 1828. A genus of tropical plants (Thunbergia), of the natural order Acanthaceae, which are cultivated as evergreen climbers, is named after him.
End of Article: KARL PETER THUNBERG (1743-1828)

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