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Johan Andreas Murray

Johan Andreas (Anders) Murray (27 January 1740 – 22 May 1791) was a Swedish physician of German descent and botanist, who published a major work on plant-derived medicines.

Johan Andreas (Anders) Murray
Johan Anders Murray.png
Born(1740-01-27)27 January 1740
Stockholm, Sweden
Died22 May 1791(1791-05-22) (aged 51)
Göttingen, Germany
OccupationPhysician, Botanist
Known forResearch into vegetable drugs


Johan Anders Murray was born in Stockholm on 27 January 1740, son of the Prussian-born preacher and theologian Andreas Murray (1695 - 1771). His brothers were the professors Johann Philipp Murray (1726-1776) and Adolph Murray (1751-1803), and the Bishop Gustaf Murray (1747-1825).[1]

Murray studied from 1756-1759 in Uppsala, where he was taught by Carl Linnaeus. In 1760, he went to Göttingen, where he became a doctor of medicine in 1763.[2] In 1769, he was appointed professor and director of the botanical garden.[2] He led investigations into the properties of medicinal plants, at that time the main interest of botanists, and into the ways in which plant-derived medicines could be prepared and administered.[3]

Murray died in Göttingen on 22 May 1791.[2]


Murray was a prominent pharmacologist and botanist. His work Apparatus medicaminum (1776–92) in six volumes, of which the last was published only after his death, is a comprehensive compilation of herbal remedies. Its full title is Apparatus medicaminum tam simplicium quam præparatorum et compositorum in praxeos adiumentum consideratus, meaning ‘The Formulation of Medicines as Simple as Prepared and Arranged in Practice and Careful Aid’.

In addition, he published German translations of numerous writings by Swedish physicians.[2] In 1774 he published the 13th edition of Linnaeus's Systema Naturæ under the title Systema Vegetabilium (‘System of the Vegetable Kingdom’), with an introduction he wrote himself called Regnum Vegetabile (‘The Vegetable Kingdom’).[4] The standard botanical abbreviation for this is Syst. Veg..[5] A fourteenth edition was published in 1784.


The citrus genus Murraya is named for Johan Andreas Murray.

Partial bibliographyEdit

Murray was the author of many treatises and translations, which included: