Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gerard's Herbal: Woolly St. John's wort

A few facts about John Gerard (1545-c.1612) and his Herball
1. He apprenticed as a barber/surgeon. At the time of his apprenticeship, a knowledge of the medicinal uses of plants would have been important to such a career.
2. Although he did not travel widely, he had access to "New World" plant material and introduced exotic plants in his London garden.
3. His Herball attempted both to systematize plant knowledge and to retain useful work of ancient writers.
4. The Herball was a practical work that "lived on" in popular use until the mid-19th century. It was first published in 1597. In 1636, Thomas Johnson revised and extended the work.
5. Linnaeus named the plant genus Gerardia in the acanthus family for him.

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