35. Paolo Silvio Boccone (1633 – 1704)

Botanist born in Palermo. Interested in plants since a young age, Boccone dedicated most of his life to the study of botany.

After travelling across Sicily, Corsica, Paris, and London, Boccone took a doctor’s degree in Padua. He published “Recherches et observations naturelles” (Paris, 1671; illustrated and greatly enlarged edition Amsterdam, 1674), a publication which provided important contributions to the fields of palaeontology, medicine and toxicology. During his life, Boccone worked as court botanist to Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany as well as to Ferdinando’s son, Cosimo III. In 1682, he entered the order of the Cistercian, where he took the name Silvio, and remained in the monastery of Santa Maria di Altofonte (Palermo) until his death.

Boccone was highly regarded by the scientific community. The French botanist Charles Plummer, who studied under him in Rome, named the genus Bocconia, in the family of the Papaveraceae, after him.

Read More: Wikipedia, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Silvio_Boccone

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