René Louiche Desfontaines
Desfontaines was born near Tremblay in Brittany. He attended the Collège de Rennes and in 1773 went to Paris to study medicine. His interest in botany originated from lectures at the Jardin des Plantes given by Louis Guillaume Lemonnier. He excelled in his new interest and was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1783. He was also a member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine.
Desfontaines spent two years in Tunisia and Algeria, returning with a large collection of plants. He wrote Flora Atlantica (1798–1799, 2 vols), which included 300 genera new to science and posthumously with Alfred Newton Desfontaines's Mémoire sur quelques nouvelles espèces d'oiseaux des côtes de Barbarie(1880). Author: René Louiche Desfontaines; Alfred Newton; Willughby Society. Publisher: London, 1880. In 1786, he was appointed professor of botany at the Jardin des Plantes, replacing Lemonnier. He later became director of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, was one of the founders of the Institut de France, president of the Academy of Sciences, and elected to the Légion d’honneur.
Desfontaines established a herbarium, known as the Flora Atlantica, which has 1480 specimens and contains many type specimens for Mediterranean species. It was left to the City of Paris after his death.
- "Desfontaines, René Louiche (1750-1833)". Author Details. IPNI. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
- "Herbarium R.L. Desfontaines (1750-1833)". Retrieved 4 May 2016.
- "Desfontainia spinosa 'Harold Comber'". Plant of the Month: June. The Royal Horticultural Society. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
- Brummitt RK; Powell CE. (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-085-4.