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Carolus Clusius, or Charles de l'Écluse, was a Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th century scientific horticulturists. In 1573 he was appointed prefect of the imperial medical garden in Vienna by Maximilian II and made Gentleman of the Imperial Chamber, but he was discharged from the imperial court shortly after the accession of Rudolf II in 1576. After leaving Vienna in the late 1580s he established himself in Frankfurt am Main, before his appointment as professor at the University of Leiden in October 1593. He helped create one of the earliest formal botanical gardens of Europe at Leyden, the Hortus Academicus, and his detailed planting lists have made it possible to recreate his garden near where it originally lay.

In the history of gardening he is remembered not only for his scholarship but also for his observations on tulips "breaking" — a phenomenon discovered in the late 19th century to be due to a virus — causing the many different flamed and feathered varieties, which led to the speculative tulip mania of the 1630s. Clusius laid the foundations of Dutch tulip breeding and the bulb industry today.

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Carolus Clusius, or Charles de l'Écluse, was a Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th century scientific horticulturists. In 1573 he was appointed prefect of the imperial medical garden in Vienna by Maximilian II and made Gentleman of the Imperial Chamber, but he was discharged from the imperial court shortly after the accession of Rudolf II in 1576. After leaving Vienna in the late 1580s he established himself in Frankfurt am Main, before his appointment as professor at the University of Leiden in October 1593. He helped create one of the earliest formal botanical gardens of Europe at Leyden, the Hortus Academicus, and his detailed planting lists have made it possible to recreate his garden near where it originally lay.

In the history of gardening he is remembered not only for his scholarship but also for his observations on tulips "breaking" — a phenomenon discovered in the late 19th century to be due to a virus — causing the many different flamed and feathered varieties, which led to the speculative tulip mania of the 1630s. Clusius laid the foundations of Dutch tulip breeding and the bulb industry today. More

 
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