Identification Keys, the “Natural Method,” and the Development of Plant Identification Manuals

  title={Identification Keys, the “Natural Method,” 
and the Development of Plant Identification Manuals},
  author={Sara Scharf},
  journal={Journal of the History of Biology},
  • Sara Scharf
  • Published 2009
  • Environmental Science
  • Journal of the History of Biology
The origins of field guides and other plant identification manuals have been poorly understood until now because little attention has been paid to 18th century botanical identification guides. Identification manuals came to have the format we continue to use today when botanical instructors in post-Revolutionary France combined identification keys (step-wise analyses focusing on distinctions between plants) with the “natural method” (clustering of similar plants, allowing for identification by… 
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