James Edward Smith
English botanist (1759-1828)
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- WHEN a botanist first enters on the investigation of so remote a country as New Holland, he finds himself as it were in a new world. He can scarcely meet with any certain fixed points from whence to draw his analogies; and even those that appear most promising, are frequently in danger of misleading, instead of informing him. Whole tribes of plants, which at first sight seem familiar to his acquaintance, as occupying links in Nature's chain, on which he has been accustomed to depend, prove, on a nearer examination, total strangers, with other configurations, other economy, and other qualities; not only all the species that present themselves are new, but most of the genera, and even natural orders.
- From the account for Ceratopetalum gummiferum, 'A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland', 1793.