Charles Victor Naudin

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Charles Naudin

Charles Victor Naudin (born 14 August 1815 in Autun - died 19 March 1899 in Antibes) was a French naturalist and botanist.


Naudin studied at Bailleul-sur-Thérain in 1825, at Limoux, and at the University of Montpellier from which he graduated in 1837. The following year he was working as a private tutor; he obtained his doctorate in 1842.[1] He taught until 1846, when he joined the herbarium of the National Museum of Natural History. He collaborated with Augustin Saint-Hilaire on the publication of the Brazilian flora[citation needed] and introduced the first seeds of Jubaea chilensis in France.[2]

He taught at Chaptal College as professor of zoology, but a neurological disease left him deaf. He became an assistant naturalist[3] in 1854 and married in 1860. He entered the Academy of Sciences in 1863 where he succeeded Horace Benedict Alfred Moquin-Tandon. He moved to Collioure in 1869 and created a private experimental garden there. In 1878 he was appointed director of the botanical garden of Villa Thuret of Antibes (now an INRA laboratory). He worked closely with Jacques Nicolas Ernest Germain de Saint-Pierre.

He was losing his sight.[4] In spite of this he continued to run experiments on hybridization and the acclimation of plants for the production of new species. He studied heredity, and the flora of Brazil, and in 1860 he described twenty kinds of pumpkins.

Both Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel studied his work, which is considered a precursor of modern genetics.


The two Washingtonia planted by Charles Naudin at Villa Saint Malo in Argelès.

His main publication is Mémoire sur les hybrides du règne végétal which appeared in Recueil des savants étrangers and won him the Grand Prize of the Institute of Botany in 1862. The study of hereditary phenomena according to his designs is now known as Naudinism,[5] which asserts that species are formed in the same way as our cultivated varieties, whose formation Naudin attributed to systematic selection by Man. He did not explain how selection acts in nature.

He was interested in the diversification of plants and in particular of pumpkins. Contrary to the generally accepted view, he established the non-permanence of hybrids. The botanist also published a series of memoirs dealing with cosmic influences, and published numerous articles in the Journal of Horticulture. He worked on various treaties and codes of agriculture and horticulture.

His handbook Manuel de l'acclimateur (Paris, 1888) is a reference work on the acclimatization of the Riviera in the 19th century. During his stay in Collioure, he participated in the planting of palms, including two Washingtonia, at the villa of the Baron de Saint Malo Vilmarest in Argeles-sur-Mer.


  1. ^ Naudin's pHD thesis, accessed 2013-08-13.
  2. ^ Benjamin Chabaud, J. (1996) [1915]. Laffitte Reprints, ed. Les palmiers de la Côte d'Azur. pp. 101 and 102. ISBN 2-86276-292-X. 
  3. ^ Les travaux d'aide naturaliste de C. Naudin, accessed 2013-08-13.
  4. ^ Charles Naudin à la Villa Thuret, accessed 2012-12-19.
  5. ^ "Mendélisme et Naudinisme", L'Année Biologique, 1921.
  6. ^ "Author Query for 'Naudin'". International Plant Names Index. 

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