Linnaeus stands in for the professor

Præludia sponsaliorum plantarum, "On the prelude
to the wedding of plants" was the first academic
paper published by Linnaeus.He wrote it at the age
of 21 and it was to attract great attention. Parts of it
may be seen on an old Swedish 100-kronor note.
Uppsala University Library.

Praeludia Sponsaliorum Plantarum, the paper Linnaeus wrote in 1729, is about the sexual life of plants, a thought that was not Linnaeus’ own but for which he now became the spokesman.

Many were indignant at the blasphemy to state that God's lovely flowers had sex. Not Olof Celsius: delighted by the paper, he showed it to Olof Rudbeck Jr. The latter was so impressed by Linnaeus that he soon made the young man from Småland "demonstrator" of the Botanical Garden.

Many questioned the suitability of giving a 23 year old student work which was normally that of the professor. With humour, in Latin mixed with a broad Småland dialect, charisma, a talent for narrative and great knowledge, Linnaeus spellbound his audience, an audience that rapidly increased from eighty, the usual number, to between three and four hundred!

Last modified: 2021-11-03