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Alexander Braun


WE regret to announce the death of the well-known German botanist, Prof. Alexander Braun, which took place at Berlin, on March 29. He was born in Ratisbon, May 10, 1805, and after the completion of his university studies entered upon the duties of Professor of Botany in the University of Freiburg, in Baden. Here he published his first important book, “Vergleichende Untersuchung über die Ordnung der Schuppen an den Tannenzapfen,” in which he formulated the theory with regard to the position of the leaves on plants now essentially recognised by botanists. In 1850 he accepted a call to the University of Giessen, and issued shortly after his most notable work, “Betrachtungen über die Erscheinung der Verjüngung in der Natur, insbesondere in der Lebens- und Bildungsgeschichte der Pflanze.” The extensive series of observations, and the numerous valuable theoretical deductions recorded in this suggestive work, formed one of the most noteworthy contributions to vegetable morphology, and placed the author at once among the leading botanists of the day. In 1852 he removed to Berlin, where he had been appointed Professor of Botany and Director of the Botanical Gardens, positions which he occupied up to the time of his death. The unwearied activity of Braun during this period is evidenced by the large number and variety of the contributions made by him to botanical literature. Of these his investigations on cryptogamia assume the foremost rank, embracing papers on the families Marsilia, Pilnlaria, and Selaginella, African varieties of Chara, Movements of the Juices in the Cells of Chara, Vegetable Individuals in their relations to Species, Some New Diseases of Plants caused by Fungi, New Varieties of Single-celled Algæ, &c.

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Alexander Braun . Nature 15, 490 (1877).

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