Pierre Magnol

1638 (Montpellier, France) – 1715 (Montpellier)

A pioneering botanist and innovator in the classification of plants, Magnol was the first to use the term ‘family’ of a natural grouping. The magnolia was named in his honour, by Linnaeus. Based most of his life in Montpellier, renowned for the study of botany and medicine, Magnol’s best-known students were Tournefort and Jussieu; Tournefort dying relatively young, Magnol succeeded him at the Jardin du Roi in Paris before returning to Montpellier. Ray (who was impressed by him), Sloane and Locke (who both became friends) were among those who visited him, Locke receiving seeds for the physic garden at Oxford.

Pierre Magnol knew…