De Fructibus et Seminibus Plantarum, also known by its standard botanical abbreviation Fruct. Sem. Pl., is a three-volume botanic treatise by Joseph Gaertner. The first volume was published in December 1788. The second volume was published in four parts, in 1790, 1791, 1791 and 1792 respectively. A third volume was published after Gaertner's death by his son Karl Friedrich von Gaertner from 1805 to 1807; this final volume is also known as 'Supplementum Carpologicae', abbreviated as Suppl. Carp. Most of the illustrations for the work were done by Johann Georg Strum (1742-1793).
De Fructibus was based on specimens of over a thousand genera, including Australian and Pacific specimens from the collection of Sir Joseph Banks, and South African specimens from the collection of Carl Peter Thunberg. It was essentially a study of fruits and seeds, but the resultant classification was outstanding for its time.
Julius Sachs claimed that the work "forms an epoch in the history of botany", writing
"[Gaertner]'s great work was at once an inexhaustible mine of single well-ascertained facts, and a guide to the morphology of the organs of fructification and to its application to systematic botany.... [T]he whole theory of the flower was thus placed upon a better basis.... Gärtner's theory of the seed is one of his most valuable contributions to the science.... [H]is views far surpass in clearness and consistency all that had hitherto been taught on the subject."
Considered to be the first important work on carpology based on research deriving partly from Cook's first voyage and from the collection of Joseph Banks, the source of the Australian and Pacific species as well as Thunberg's South African collection. Some 1050 genera, approx. 50 new ones were identified. His classification approached as near to a natural classifcation of fruits and seeds as possible.
Exceedingly rare, nearly impossible to buy, some book plates sell for in excess of $200 each !!! 1st edition, published 1788 in Latin, one of 3 volumes, Joseph Gaertner, Author. 79 Copperplate engravings. Ex library copy with some library cancels, also noted are some neat handwitten pencil notations. Complete & in superb condition for its age, some minor foxing. Covers & spine have wear and some surface losses as per photos.
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