Philip Miller

From Academic Kids

Philip Miller (1691 - 1771) was a botanist of Scottish descent.

Miller was chief gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1721 until shortly before his death. He wrote The Gardener's and Florists Dictionary or a Complete System of Horticulture (1724) and The Gardener's Dictionary containing the Methods of Cultivating and Improving the Kitchen Fruit and Flower Garden (1731).

Miller corresponded with other botanists, and obtained plants from all over the world, many of which he cultivated for the first time in England. He trained William Aiton, who later became head gardener at Kew, and William Forsyth, after whom Forsythia was named.

Miller was reluctant to use the new binomial nomenclature of Carolus Linnaeus, preferring the classifications of Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and John Ray at first. He only fully changed to the Linnaean system in the eighth edition of The Gardener's Dictionary in 1768, though he had already described some genera, such as Larix and Vanilla, validly under the Linnaean system earlier, in the fourth edition (1754).

Miller sent the first cotton seeds to Georgia in 1733.

The standard botanical author abbreviation Mill. is applied to plants he described.

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