This Day in History January 17, 1501

By Ruth on January 16, 2012 in history

Does this German botanist look familiar?  His name was Leonard Fuchs, and he was born on this date in 1501.  He trained to be a physician with a special interest in natural history.  He is considered one of the fathers of botany.

He published a book about the herbs that the ancients and Medieval peoples used for healing, and this was one of his greatest achievements.  It sounds to me like he was way ahead of his time.  He saw the value of herbs in healing, and I am sure that modern-day physicians owe him a debt of gratitude.

He was an a masterful physician, and he even treated those with the plague.  His focus was, of course, herbal remedies.

One other thing I find interesting is that the plant genus Fuchsia was named after him 1703.  He was the first person to introduce this plant genus, so it is quite fitting that they would choose to name it after him.  Pity he didn’t know they did since he died May 10, 1566.  I did not know this was a plant, and I never dreamed that  the color fuchsia was named after someone.  Especially a guy!

Here are some links with more information:


  1. Karen Greenberg January 17, 2012 Reply

    I actually think we slipped BACK in time. There were a LOT of people in this time period and before that recognized that food could have healing powers. When we started discovering Western medicines we seemed to have forgotten that and thought medicine would give us eternal life. I’m glad we are coming around and starting to realize that our cures for many things have been right under our noses all along.

  2. Patty January 17, 2012 Reply

    Interesting. Have a good day.

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