Elias Magnus Fries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elias Magnus Fries
Elias Magnus Fries.jpg
Born (1794-08-15)15 August 1794
Died 8 February 1878(1878-02-08) (aged 83)
Nationality Swedish
Fields Mycology, Botany
Institutions Lund University
Uppsala University
Alma mater Lund University
Known for Founder of modern fungal taxonomy
Author abbrev. (botany) Fr.

Elias Magnus Fries (15 August 1794 – 8 February 1878) was a Swedish mycologist and botanist.


He was born at Femsjö (Hylte Municipality), Småland, the son of the pastor there.[1] He acquired an extensive knowledge of flowering plants from his father. In 1811 Fries entered Lund University[2] where he took the doctorate in 1814. In the same year he was appointed an associate professorship in botany, and in 1824, became a full professor. In 1834 he became Borgström professor (Swed. Borgströmianska professuren, a chair endowed by Eric Erichsson Borgström, 1708–1770) in applied economics at Uppsala University. The position was changed to "professor of botany and applied economics" in 1851. That year he was also appointed director of the Uppsala University Botanical Garden. In 1853, he became rector of the University.[3] In 1821, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Fries most important works were the three-volume Systema mycologicum (1821–1832), Elenchus fungorum (1828), the two-volume Monographia hymenomycetum Sueciae (1857 and 1863) and Hymenomycetes Europaei (1874).[4]

Fries is considered to be, after Christian Hendrik Persoon, a founding father of the modern taxonomy of mushrooms. His taxonomy of mushrooms was influenced by Goethe and the German romantics. He utilized spore color and arrangement of the hymenophore (pores, gills, teeth etc.) as major taxonomic characteristics.[citation needed]

When he died, The Times commented: "His very numerous works, especially on fungi and lichens, give him a position as regards those groups of plants only comparable to that of Linnaeus".[5] Fries was succeeded in the Borgström professorship by Johan Erhard Areschoug, after whom Theodor Magnus Fries, the son of Elias, held the chair.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Fries, Elias Magnus". Nordisk Familjebok (in Swedish) 8 (2 ed.). 1908. pp. 1393–1397. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Fries, Elias Magnus". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Fries, Elias Magnus". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  4. ^ Gulden, Gro; Eckblad, Finn-Egil (2007). "Elias Magnus Fries". In Henriksen, Petter. Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  5. ^ The Times, Thursday, Feb 21, 1878; pg. 6; Issue 29184; col C
  6. ^ "Author Query for 'Fr.'". International Plant Names Index. 

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Erik Gustaf Geijer
Swedish Academy,
Seat No.14

Succeeded by
Carl Rupert Nyblom