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Linnaeus and Dionaea

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#1 Nicolas de Lyon

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 23:02 PM


I'm working on a short text about carnivorous plants, which includes a brief history of the concept of vegetable carnivory. The beginning is very classical: Ellis described Dionaea muscipula at the end of the XVIIIth century (the original text can be found online) and says that this plant may be carnivorous; he sent this description to Linnaeus. A few weeks afterwards, Linnaeus wrote a letter to Ellis, which says that he has been very impressed.

These letters can be found on The Linnaean correspondence.

However, everybody knows that Linnaeus finally rejected the idea that the VFT may be carnivorous. It's written in every book about CPs, even in Hooker's The carnivorous habits of plants, But never with a citation.

I've been unable to find where and when Linnaeus stated about the carnivory of D. muscipula, what he said precisely, and what counter-arguments he opposed to Ellis. That's frustrating. Does anyone know?

Thanks :)

Edited by Nicolas de Lyon, 11 March 2012 - 23:02 PM.

#2 linuxman

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 18:48 PM

Maybe something Tim Bailey's "Miraculum Naturae Venus's Flytrap". Unfortunately I've not read it myself.

#3 Marcel van den Broek

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 19:21 PM

It's not in the Linnaeus text of that book, I just checked.
As far as I understand L didn't reject carnivory in a specific species, but as a whole for all plants on general (religious) principle.