This 10 August 2018 photo (made with a macro lens like all photos in this blog post) shows flat sea holly. Its scientific name is Eryngium planum.
Complete name: Eryngium planum L. The L. stands for Carolus Linnaeus, the founder of systematic biology. Linnaeus published that scientific name, which is still valid, in his 1753 book Species Plantarum.
However, Linnaeus must have known this species years before publishing its scientific name in Species Plantarum.
Where did he first see it? Very probably, at about the same place were this flat sea holly was photographed. It is in the Clusius garden in the botanical garden of Leiden in the Netherlands. The Clusius garden is a reconstruction with the original traditional medicinal plant species at the original spot, where botanist Carolus Clusius founded the Leiden Hortus Botanicus in 1590. Then, the garden was still small. In Linnaeus’ eighteenth century, the garden had already expanded a bit, but Clusius’ medicinal plants were still present. Linnaeus visited the Hortus Botanicus regularly in 1735-1737, and there he probably got his first ideas for naming Eryngium planum and other species.
Already, before we were in the Clusius garden, near the Hortus entrance, we had seen another plant species originally named by Linnaeus in 1753: Yucca aloifolia, the aloe yucca. The photo does not show the plant itself, but its reflection in water.
Next to it along the water was another plant: Dasylirion glaucophyllum. That species was not named by Linnaeus; but by William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865), director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England. Like the aloe yucca photo, this photo does not show the plant itself, but its reflection in water with much duckweed.
We continued. Close to the eighteenth century orangery building this beautiful red flower.
Next, these flowers, Agapanthus; meaning ‘love flower’ in Greek. Known in English as ‘lily of the Nile’, though they are not lilies, and are from South Africa where the river Nile does not flow.
Agapanthus likes hot weather; it got plenty of that in the 2018 summer in the Netherlands. It hates dry weather, also plentiful in the 2018 summer; however, the botanical garden people water it regularly.
A male blackbird not far from the Japanese garden part of the botanical garden.
Along the canal, many dahlias flowering.
We continued to the Chinese herbal garden part. Sacred lotus flowering in a small pond.
There were not just sacred lotus flowers, but buds as well.
Stay tuned, as there will be another blog post on the Leiden botanical garden!