“Some Plants from the land of Linnaeus”
Guest Speaker: Eva Buxton

Carl von Linné, the King of Flowers, as he is known in Sweden, is sometimes called the Father of Botany. Linnaeus was convinced that God had created all species and that his own role was to classify plants by putting them in classes based on the number of stamens, and within the classes, in orders based on the number of pistils.

Although he based his classification on sexual parts, it is not a natural system, but a constructed one that demonstrates some relationships. His greatest contribution to botany is his devising of the binomial nomenclature, which he used when describing approximately 9,000 plant species. In this system, used to this day to name organisms, each organism has a name consisting of a generic name and a specific epithet, as in Homo sapiens.

Eva Buxton grew up in Sweden and became interested in plants at an early age. Due to Linnaeus’s fame, botany was included in Sweden’s curriculum throughout elementary and secondary education. Eva has photographed plants on her many trips to visit her homeland—some of them described by Linnaeus. She has an M.A. in Systematic Biology and Ecology with emphasis on botany and is now retired from working as a botanist for LSA Associates, an environmental consulting firm. Eva is the conservation chair for the Marin Chapter of CNPS and volunteers for other environmental organizations in Marin County. She is also doing research in plant systematics and recently described a new meadowfoam from San Mateo County.