Leonhard Fuchs

Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) compiled the first significant glossary of botanical terms, which contributed to the development of modern botany. The plant genus Fuchsia was named for him.

Leonhard Fuchs was born on January 17, 1501, in Wemding, Bavaria. He was trained as a physician and had a particular interest in natural history. Fuchs served as a professor of medicine at Tubingen University from 1535-1566. He was especially interested in the medicinal properties of plants. In 1542, Fuchs published a plant manual titled Historia stirpium, or History of Plants. Also known by the title of Concerning the Description of Plants, this publication was illustrated with woodcuts and admired for its precise detail and attention to scholarship. The book was an important milepost in the developing science of natural history.

The plant genus Fuchsia was named after Fuchs in 1703 because he was the first to describe it. This genus comprised a group of shrubs that he described in his book. Later, the color of the flower on these shrubs, a sort of blue/ red, also came to be referred as Fuchsia.

Fuchs also published Mendendi Methodus in 1541. As a physician he treated patients with success who suffered from plague.

Further Reading on Leonhard Fuchs

Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, new revised edition, Avon, 1972.

Cambridge Biographical Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, edited by David Crystal, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Chambers Biographical Dictionary, edited by Melanie Parry, Larousse plc, 1997.

Dictionary of Biography, Past and Present, edited by Benjamin Vincent, Gale Research Company, 1974.

Gilbert, Judson Bennett. Disease and Destiny, a Bibliography of Medical References to the Famous, William Dawson and Sons Ltd., 1962.

Ireland, Norma Olin, Index to Scientists of the World from Ancient to Modern Times, F.W. Faxon Company, Inc., 1962.

Merriam-Webster's Biographical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., May 1995.

Thorne, J.O., and T.C. Collocott. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Who Did What, edited by Gerald Howat, Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1974.