Sexy, Scandalous Science


For centuries the study of flowers and the cultivation of gardens were deemed to be safe pursuits for genteel young ladies – providing they did not aspire to become professional botanists…Carl Linnaeus’s sexual system for the classification of plants, based on stamens and pistils and expressed in overtly sexual terms, changed all that.

The Public Domain Review looks at Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora and how it exemplifies a time period that was scandalized by gendered plant systems.

P.E. Garcia is an Editor-at-Large for the Rumpus and a contributor to HTMLGiant. They currently live in Philadelphia, where they were recently accidentally elected to be Judge of Elections. Find them on Twitter: @AvantGarcia. More from this author →