GRONOVIUS, Johannes Fridericus (1686-1762); and John CLAYTON (1693-1773)
Flora Virginica exhibens plantas quas… in Virginia crescents observavit collegit & obtulit
Leiden: 1762. 4to. , 176, pp. Engraved folding map. Errata on verso terminal leaf. Contemporary manuscript annotations throughout. Uncut.
Contemporary flexible blue paper covered boards, expertly rebacked to style. Housed in a blue morocco backed box.
Provenance: J. Davis
Second and best edition of the first Virginian flora, based on specimens collected by John Clayton at the beginning of the 18th century; this edition the first to include a map of Virginia.
The first London edition of 1739- 43 of Gronovius' work, based on Clayton's specimens, comprised the first systematic flora of Virginia and was responsible for establishing many new genera. John Clayton had an estate on the Piankatank River in Mathews County, spent much time in collecting Virginia plants, particularly in the middle tidewater region. Clayton corresponded with J.F. and L.T. Gronovius, Linnæus, Kalm, Collinson, and Bartram. "Because Clayton's herbarium specimens formed the basis of this work, it is often asserted that it should be called 'Clayton's Flora Virginica,' but the final identification of the specimens, the science and system of the book, were largely the work of Gronovius" (Hunt).
The map is "one of the earliest botanical maps of any region of the world" (Maps in Virginia). The map further documents Clayton's travels, "which show that he was seldom north of the Rappahannock or south of the James, and that his knowledge of the mountains did not extend beyond the Blue Ridge. He was thorough, however, in his exploration of the middle Tidewater districts, and recent botanical work shows that as a field botanist he was more astute than has been realized" (DAB).
A lovely copy of an important Virginia flora.
Sabin 28924; Pritzel 3607; Hunt 571; JCB I, 1316; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 2189; Stephenson and McKee, Maps in Virginia p.106.