Image courtesy of
Université Montpellier


Source : Grande Encyclopédie (published around 1900)

(Planchon gave many plants their names, including several Nymphaea species and cultivars)

PLANCHON (Jules-Emile), French botanist, was born in Ganges (Hérault) on the 21st of March 1823 and died in Montpellier on the 1st of April 1888. After obtaining a Ph. D. in sciences at Montpellier University in 1844, he went to England, where he worked as keeper of the Herbarium at Kew Gardens. In 1849, he went to Gent as a teacher at the Institute of Horticulture and went in 1851 to Nancy, where he was appointed teacher at the University of Medecine and Pharmacy. In 1853, he finally took up the head of the Department of Botanical Sciences at the Montpellier University of Sciences. In 1856 he was simultaneously appointed teacher at the University of Pharmacy and soon became the Director of this institution. He left his teaching activities at the University of Sciences in 1881 and was appointed head of the Department of Botanics at the University of Medicine, a position which included the management of the Botanical Garden.

He was a corresponding member of the French Academies of Sciences and of Medicine. In 1873, he was put in charge of a scientific mission about phylloxera; he had discovered, named and studied this disease of the grape plant in 1868. His valuable achievements in this matter made his name popular in the whole of Southern France. He introduced the American vine plants resistant to the disease, which brought a relief welcomed in all French vineyards after the extensive damages made by phylloxera.

In scientific circles, he is much more famous because of his very important contributions to the botanical sciences, which mainly dealt with systematics as well as with affinities between plants (he wrote monographies about ampelideae, guttifereae, ulmaceae, simaroubeae, etc., and many descriptions of new species and varieties). His interests were directed to various fields of knowledge: botanical geography, organography, cryptogamy (see his research about the deseases of the vine plant), horticulture, agriculture and historical research.

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