The Plant Kingdom

Before the eighteenth century, there was really no logical or widely accepted classification or naming of plants. They were known in Europe by the vernacular names current in the various countries and were referred to technically in Latin by cumbersome descriptive phrases, often several words long.

The invention of printing and movable type in the middle of the 1400s stimulated the production of herbals—that is, botanical' books—mainly on medicinal plants. The so-called Age of Herbals, from about 1470 to 1670, led to the freeing of botany and medicine from the ancient concepts of Dioscorides and other classical naturalists that shaped Europe for some sixteen centuries. These two centuries saw more progress in botany than had taken place during the previous millennium and a half.

Yet it was not until the eighteenth century that Carolus Linnaeus, or Carl von Linné, a Swedish naturalist-physioan and professor at the Umver sity of Uppsala, offered the first comprehensive and scientific system of classification and nomenclature for plants in his monumental, 1,200-page book Species Plantarum, published in 1753.

Linnaeus grouped plants according to his "sexual system"—a simple system of twenty-four classes based pr narily on the number and characteristics of the stamens. He gave each plant a generic and a specific name, resulting in a binomial nomenclature. Although other botanists had used binomials, Linnaeus was the first to employ the system consistently While his sexual classification—highly artificial and inadequate from the point of view of an evolutionary understanding of the Plant Kingdom (which was to come later)—is no longer followed, his binomial nomenclature is now universally accepted, and botanists have agreed on the year 1753 as the starting point of current nomenclature

Believing that he had classified most of the world's flora in 1753, Linnaeus calculated the size of the Plant Kingdom as 10,000 or fewer species But Linnaeus's work and the influence of his many students had stimulated interest in the flora of the new lands that were being opened to colonization and exploration. Consequently, nearly a century later, in 1847, the British botanist John Lindley 'ncreased the estimate to nearly 100,000 species in 8,900 genera

Hallucinogenic species occur among the highest-evolved flowering plants (angiosperms) and in the division fungi of the simpler plants. Angiosperms are subdivided into mono-cots (one seed leaf) and dicots (two seed leaves).

Sweet Flag, Hemp (Marijuana), and Deadly Nightshade (above, right) as well as Fly Agaric (below, right) are representative psychoactive soecics

Haircap Moss

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Haircap Moss

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MONOCOj^fiiONEAE

Madonna . ■ Lilium canoidum

MONOCOj^fiiONEAE

Madonna . ■ Lilium canoidum

Sweet Flag, Hemp (Marijuana), and Deadly Nightshade (above, right) as well as Fly Agaric (below, right) are representative psychoactive soecics

Male Fern Dryopteris filix-mas

Deadly Atropa

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Tobacco

Nicotiana t& im

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Seaweeds Algae

Hemp; Marij. Carimbas safíva

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Tobacco

Nicotiana t& im

Deadly Atropa

Scotch Rosa . j Rosa spinofji$sifpa

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Dicots (flowering plants with two seed leaves) are separated into Archichlamydeae (petals absent or separate) and Metaclilamy-deae (petals joined).

Spsrmaicphytes are the seed plants, subdivided into cone-bearers (gymnosperms) and flowering plants (angiosperms).

SPEq.MATOPHYT/"

Syrrfiocpermae

White Pine Pinus strobus

Mushrooms and molds (fungi), seaweeds (algae), mosses and liverworts (bryophytes), and ferns (pteridophytes) are simple' plants.

Fly Agaric Amanita rrfnscafja

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