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Boletín de la Sociedad Argentina de Botánica

versión On-line ISSN 1851-2372


FREIRE-FIERRO, Alina. Philadelphia and the Botany in North America. Bol. Soc. Argent. Bot. [online]. 2008, vol.43, n.1-2, pp.179-187. ISSN 1851-2372.

The establishment and development of botanical research in North America began with the foundation of three Philadelphian institutions: The American Philosophical Society in 1743, the Botany Department at University of Pennsylvania in 1768 and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1812. Some of the most influential botanists of the last four centuries, and in particular, the 18th and 19th centuries lived in Philadelphia, including William Bartram (1699-1777), founder of the oldest botanical garden in North America that still in operation, Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815), author of the first textbook of North American botany, Federico Pursh (1774-1820), author of one of the most complete North American floras of early 19th century, Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), author of the first truly continental North American flora, and Lewis David von Schweinitz (1780-1834), widely considered to be father of mycology. Although botany in Philadelphia reached its zenith during the 19th century, Philadelphia continues to play an important role in botanical research. In particular, the PH Herbarium, with more than 1.4 million botanical specimens and the highest proportion of types/total number of specimens of any herbarium in the United States, continues to be an important resource for systematics research in North American plants, and indeed for research on plants from many other geographical areas as well.

Palabras clave : Herbaria; History of Botany; Philadelphia; Bartram; Barton; Pursh; Nuttall.

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