History of Plant Anatomy

262 BC
Theophrastus of Eresus
"Father of Botanical Science"
Greek Philosopher
Descriptive morphology of types of organs, relation of organ to organ, and of type of organ to type of organ.  Described gross internal anatomiy of stems, roots, and leaves. Recognized normal sequence of root, stem, branch, leaf, flower, fruit in trees.  Plants are made up of bark (phloios), wood (zylon), and pith (metra), when pith is present.
1519 - 1603 Andrea Caesalpino
Italian Philosopher
Initiated idealistic morphology in studies on plant "souls". Postulated canals for conduction.
Observed that roots lack pith.
1635 - 1703 Robert Hooke
English mathematician & architect
Examined many objects with newly invented magnifying lens.  Micrographica.  1665. Cell coined in reference to cavities in cork and charcoal. 
1628 - 1694 Marcello Malpighi
Italian physician and professor
Searched independently of Grew for similarities between structures of animals and plants.  Discovered Spiral Vessels and Stomata.
1641 - 1712 Nehemia Grew
"Founder of Plant Anatomy"
English physician
Presented classification of plant tissues as consisting of two different "bodies" (woody parts, strings, and fibers vs. barques, piths, parenchymas, and pulps).  Recognized vertical and horizontal systems of tissues.  Described secondary growth of bark and wood.
The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun.  1672.
"...Parenchyma of the Barque is much the same thing, as to its conformation, which the Froth of Beer or Eggs is, as a fluid..."  Vessel coined in reference to spiral vessels. 
1632 - 1723 Antony van Leeuwenhoek

Described pitted vessels.
1700 - 1781 Du Hamel
French arboriculturist
  Coined Cambium in reference to gelatinous generative zone in the inner cortex.
1733 -
Caspar Friedrich Wolff
Theorized that tissue is a homogeneous matrix filled with bubbles, as is rising dough.
1776 - 1854 Charles Francois Mirbel
Elaborated Wolff theory.  Theorized that new cells appear in a homogeneous matrix as cavities with openings between them for the passage of sap.
1766 - 1833 Kurt Sprengel Opposed Mirbel's theory.  Proposed new cells arise within the contents of old cells as small vesicles (starch grains?) that get larger by uptake of water.
1779 - 1864 Ludolph Christian Treviranus Discovered vessels formed by disappearance of cross-walls between series of cells.  Observed development of spiral thickenings in protoxylem.
1774 - 1850 Johann Jakob Bernhardi Discovered annular thickenings in vessels.  Observed primary wall binding annular and spiral thickenings together.  Recognized that vessel elements don't metamorphize.
1766 - 1827 Johann Jakob Paul Moldenhawer Demonstrated each cell had its own wall, so cavities are separated by two walls. Developed maceration technique.  Coined fibrovascular bundle (vascular bundle) for strands of fibers, vessels, and parenchyma.
1773 - 1858 Robert Brown
Discovered cell nucleus (1831)
1804 - 1840 Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen Suggested new cell arise through cell division rather than free cell formation.
1805 -
Hugo von Mohl Proposed that the vacuolated body (primordial utricle) within the cell wall was the living component.  Proposed cell wall thickening occurs by apposition. Borrowed zoology term protoplasm in reference to cell contents.  Described relation of primary and secondary cell wall layers and nature of pits.  Demonstrated nature of cuticle, lenticels, cork.  Demonstrated first vascular bundles that develop in stem connect with leaves.
1805 - 1880 Theodor Hartig
Discovered sieve tube and its perforated nature in phloem.
1804  - 1881 Matthias Jacob Schleiden Studied protoplasm of plants. Collaborated with Schwann in formation of 
1810 - 1882 Theodor Schwann Studied protoplasm of animals. The Cell Theory (1838) there is one universal principle of development for the elementary parts of organisms, however different, and that this principle is the formation of cells
1817 - 1891 Wilhelm von Nageli Studied ontogeny of apical meristems.  Distinquished primary and secondary meristems.  Proposed cell wall thickening occurs by intussusception. Described development of vascular bundles from procambial strands.  Applied terms xylem and phloem to different parts of vascular bundle.
1832 - 1891 Carl Sanio
Prussian school teacher
Described how vascular cambium orignates and functions.  Described secondary development of periderm. Described details of bordered pits.
1822 - 1880 Johannes von Hanstein Proposed histogen theory of apical meristem organization. Dermatogen.  Periblem.  Plerome.
1831 - 1888 Heinrich Anton De Bary
Demonstrated Hanstein's histogens could not be universally applied and lacked morphological value.
1832 - 1897 Julius von Sachs Proposed first physiological classification of plant tissue that were derived from uniform meristem. Epidermal.  Fibrovascular.  Fundametal.

Gottlieb Haberlandt Physiologische Pflanzenanatomie.  1884.  Grouped tissues according to functional systems, disregarding morphological classification and arrangements.

Schmidt 1924.  Proposed method of apical organization on basis of planes of cell division. Tunica.  Corpus.  Kappe.

Foster 1943.  Proposed zones of growth description of gymnosperms apical meristems. Apical Initials.  Mantle Layer.  Central Mother Cell Zone.  Rib Meristems.  Pith.  Zone of Cambium-like Cells.

Clowes 1961.  Described quiescent center in root apical meristems.


Eames, A. J. and L. H. MacDaniels.  1925.  An Introduction to Plant Anatomy.  pp. 321 - 342.  McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc.  N.Y.