Who was this person?

Discussion in 'Plants and Biodiversity Stumpers' started by tipularia, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. tipularia

    tipularia Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    An 18th century German professor who collected seeds of a composite plant in Mexico. The genus is named after him. He was accosted by bandits, who let him go after they searched his bag only to find seeds. They left him alone, believing him crazy and therefore unlucky.
     
  2. David in L A

    David in L A Active Member 10 Years

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    Are you sure this is not just a legend? The professor's real connection to the plant may have been to have studied the plant in the university garden and named it 'Rudbeckia foliis oppositis', a name cited in the 1763 edition of Species Plantarum.'
    There are similar, true (or at least reported by the botanists themselves) stories told about E. L. Greene and a band of Utes in 1870 and about the Lemmons and a band of Apaches in 1882.
     
  3. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    Johann Gottfried Zinn
     
  4. tipularia

    tipularia Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    That is correct GreenGoose! Zinnia is the genus named after Johann Zinn.
    I was browsing through The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Western Region and found that on page 396.
     
  5. David in L A

    David in L A Active Member 10 Years

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    When and how did this story get attached to Zinn? As far as I can find he never left Germany. He was born in Ansbach, completed his medical degree at Goettingen, spent one further year of stuy in Berlin and then spent the rest of his life as professor of medicine and director of the botanical garden at Goettingen.
     
  6. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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  7. David in L A

    David in L A Active Member 10 Years

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    Searching Google Books, I find the story goes back at least to 1938, to an article in the Proceedings of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences. In this version, Dr. Zinn collected his seeds in 1860, 101 years after his death.
     
  8. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Some people are very persistant.

    Ralph
     
  9. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    I hope I'm that active at that age ! LOL!
     
  10. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    A necessary attribute of the scholar and scientist, nonetheless.
     
  11. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    http://www.flowers.org.uk/Flowers/facts/s-z/zinnia.htm

    From the above URL:
    " The Marchioness of Bute was sent the seeds of the Zinnia from Mexico by Professor Casimir Gomez de Ortego."

    And from: http://zinniasgarden.com/article.php?article=32

    "The seeds were first sent to Europe to The Marchioness of Bute from Mexico by Professor Casimir Gomez de Ortego. The seeds arrived in Austria in 1613 and were cultivated there."

    And from: http://tinyurl.com/s78lv

    "The Marchioness of Bute was sent the seeds of the Zinnia from Mexico by Professor Casimir Gomez de Ortego. The Marchioness was wife to the British Ambassador to Madrid and daughter-in-law to John Stuart Bute who was director of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. Bute died after falling off a cliff whilst reaching for a rare plant. In the language of flowers, ..."
     
  12. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    A 101 year old man, presumably with fair features, wandering around in the wilderness of Mexico, with a bag in his poseession, which contained only seeds. Hmmmmmm!

    I would say I would have come to the same conclusion as the bandits who accosted him!
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That would make him 133 . . .
     

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