René Louiche Desfontaines

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René Louiche Desfontaines (14 February 1750 – 16 November 1833) was a French botanist.[1]

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.

René Louiche Desfontaines

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.

The genus Desfontainia is named for this author.[2]

The standard author abbreviation Desf. is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.[3]


  1. ^ "Desfontaines, René Louiche (1750-1833)". Author Details. IPNI. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  2. ^ "Desfontainia spinosa 'Harold Comber'". Plant of the Month: June. The Royal Horticultural Society. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  3. ^ Brummitt RK; Powell CE. (1992). Authors of Plant Names. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-085-4. 

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