UMass Amherst
Joseph Pitton de Tournefort

The compleat herbal : or, The botanical institutions of Mr. Tournefort ... / carefully translated from the original Latin ; with large additions from Ray, Gerarde, Parkinson, and others, the most celebrated moderns ; to which are added indexes, one containing the names, the other, the physical vertues and uses of the several plants.
London : Printed for R. Bonwicke [and 8 others] and sold by J. Morphew, 1719-1730.
2 v., 277 (i.e. 276) plates : ill. ; 18 x 23 cm.

Call no.: QK41 .T74

From his position as director of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708) exploited the first flowering of French colonial expansion to become one of his nation's best known botanical explorers. Having studied medicine at Montpellier and Bologna, he received a position as Professor of Botany at the Jardin in 1683, becoming a member of the Academie des Sciences (1692) and College de France (1692). After traveling throughout western Europe by order of the King, he received the enviable task of touring the Levant and into Persia, Armenia, and Georgia, from 1700 to 1702, collecting over 1,350 specimens of plants.

Apart from his work on the Levant, Tournefort is best known as a pre-Linnaean systematist. In his Institutiones rei herbariae (1700), he classified plants based upon the form of their corolla, clearly distinguishing genera and species. The English translation of his work included additions drawn from the herbals of important British botanists John Ray, John Parkinson, and John Gerard, examples of whose work appears in SCUA.

title page

Digitalis Illustrations of the floral structures of Digitalis (Foxglove).