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Dr. Daniel Carl Solander (1733-1782)

Solandra grandiflora,  from a genus of eight species, named in honour of Daniel Solander.Daniel Solander was on of Linnaeus' greatest students and one of Joseph Banks best friends.

Solander was born at Piteå in Sweden, son of a Lutheran rector. In 1750 he went to Uppsala University to study law, but became so interested in the work of Linnaeus that he redirected his focus to the study of botany and natural science. Solander assisted Linnaeus with classifying and indexing several major collections in Sweden, and published an abridged version of Linnaeus' work on general botany. He also participated in botanizing in Lapland and Norway.

In 1759 Linnaeus asked Solander to travel to England to promote his new system of classification, and by all accounts Solander was a hit with English society. In 1763 he was given an appointment at the British museum, where he rearranged the natural history collection. The following year he was elected to the Royal Society.

Solander developed a long-lasting friendship with Joseph Banks, who asked him to join his team of botanical explorers on the Endeavour in 1768. Between the two botanists, they collected well over 1000 species of plants new to science.

When Banks pulled out of Cook's second expedition, Solander's loyalty to Bank's prevented him from joining the crew of the Resolution. Instead, he joined Banks on an expedition to Iceland, the Faeroes and the Orkney Islands. Soon after his return, Solander was promoted to the post of keeper at the British Museum, where he continued to increase the collections while conducting tours for visitors. He also acted as Banks's librarian at Kew, and was responsible for naming many of the new plant specimens sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Solander Society


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