Carl Linnaeus

Carl von Linne

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) was a brilliant Swedish naturalist and educator who considered all of nature his classroom. Like a botanical prophet, he would lead students on long excursions through woods and countryside, reeling off colorful anecdotes and observations on plants, insects and vertebrates. He eventually collected over 14,000 sheets of pressed plants and thousands of insect specimens. 

More than two centuries after his death, Linnaeus is most honored for his revolutionary plant and animal naming system of binary Latin nomenclature: one name indicating the genus and the other the species.

It is little wonder that Linnaeus is internationally recognized as the "Father of Botany".

Carl's life and times

1707 Linnaeus Birthplace May 23rd, Carl Linnaeus is born in Rashult, in the province of Smaland in Southern Sweden.

Studies medicine for a year in Lund.  


Continues his studies in Uppsala.

1732 Lapp clothing

Goes alone to Lappland (Northern Sweden) on scientific expedition for five months.  This portrait shows Linnaeus after his return in the traditional Lappland peasant-wear. 


Coat of Arms note: He is holding the Linnaea borealis that would later be the focus of his noble family's coat of arms

Next, a scientific expedition to Dalarna.


Attains a Doctor of Medicine degree at Harderwijk, Holland.

1735 - 1738

Lives and works in Holland, publishing several important works. Visits Denmark, Germany, England and France.

1735 Sytema Naturae

Publishes the first edition of Systema Naturae.


Publishes Fundamenta Botanica.


Publishes Flora Lapponica.


Removes to Stockholm as a medical doctor.


One of the founders of the Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm.


Marries Sara Lisa Moraea at Sveden, near Falun, Dalarna.


Appointed professor of medicine at Uppsala University.


Scientific expedition to the islands of Oland and Gotland.

1745 Flora Svecica Page Flora Svecica Book Publishes Flora Svecica in Stockholm. The work describes 1296 plants.

Scientific expedition to Vastergotland.


Publishes Philosophia Botanica.   Carl Linnaeus completed this book elaborating principles of botany that he had published 15 years before in Systema Naturae. This new Philosophia Botanica, became one of the most important books in the history of systematic botany.


Publishes Species Plantarum.  Binomial nomenclature for plants begins to be used.

1757 Arms Proposal

Linnaeus was dubed in 1753 by king Adolph Fredrik to knight of Nordstjarneordern.  He was the first civilian in Sweden to received this honor. In 1761 he was raised to the nobility and took the name von Linne

Coat of Arms

Linne drew a proposal on a coat of arms for the noble family von Linne. His proposal was composed of three fields with the colours of the nature; black, green and red. Above these fields was an anatomic egg and in the helmet a Linnaea borealis. This proposal was rejected and the counter proposed coat of arms was accepted by Linne.

1758 Hammarby

Purchases the farms of Hammarby, and Savja within 13 km from Uppsala.


Publishes the 10th edition of Systema Naturae where the binomial (two names) system for animals is consistently used for the first time.


January 10th, Carl Linnaeus dies in Uppsala and is buried in the Cathedral there.