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Joseph Decaisne


BY the somewhat unexpected death of Prof. Decaisne, one of the most familiar names disappears from the scientific world of France. Although so inseparably associated with Paris Decaisne was by birth a Belgian, haying been born in Brussels in 1809. His brother, still living, rose to the position of Inspector-General of the Army Medical Service of Belgium. When quite a young man Joseph Decaisne entered the service of the Jardin des Plantes at Paris in the position of a gardener. The venerable institution with which for the rest of his life he was associated is very different from a mere pleasure-ground, and it would be a mistake to suppose that the starting-point in Decaisne's career implied anything more than rising from the lowest rank in an establishment which in every detail is nothing if not scientific. In 1840 he was attached to the Herbarium as Aide naturaliste, finally returning to the Garden as Professeur de Culture and Director in succession to Mirbel.

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