Banana, plantain. Musa paradisiaca. Illustration by Jean Theodore Descourtilz. Le jardin des plantes, Bernard, P., Couailhac, L. (1842) by Swallowtail Garden Seeds Via Flickr: From our collection of botanical photographs, illustrations, and paintings. We hope you will enjoy these images as much as we do.
The first record we have of a classification system for living organisms comes in the writings of Aristotle, who divided organisms into just Plants and Animals. By the time I first began to study biology (not quite as far back as Aristotle, but close), there were five kingdoms of living organisms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, and Monera, based on the system of classification developed by Linnaeus in the mid-1700’s. Animalia, Plantae, and Fungi were pretty obvious areas of classification to me, even as a freshman biology student. Monera was where bacteria were placed and Protista, of course, was the junk drawer of the kingdoms, where all of the odds and ends were put.