Plant World

Flowers and Unusual Plants

What was the “flower clock” of Linnaeus?

Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778), who was responsible for the binomial nomenclature classification system of living organisms, invented a floral clock to tell the time of day. He had observed over a number of years that certain plants consistently opened and closed their flowers at particular times of the day, these times varied from species to species. One could deduce the approximate time of day according to which species had opened or closed its flowers. Linnaeus planted a garden displaying local flowers, arranged in sequence of flowering throughout the day, that would flower even on cloudy or cold days. He called it a “horologium florae” or “flower clock.”


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