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In 1776, he published The botanical arrangement of all the vegetables naturally growing in Great Britain, an early and influential British Flora.
It was the first in English based on the then new Linnaean taxonomy — a classification of all living things — devised by the eminent Swedish botanist and physician Carolus Linnaeus ( 1707 – 1778 ).
Withering wrote two more editions of this work in 1787 and 1792, in collaboration with fellow Lunar Society member Jonathan Stokes, and after his death his son ( also William ) published four more.
It continued being published under various authors until 1877.
Withering senior also carried out pioneering work into the identification of fungi and invented a folding pocket microscope for use on botanical field trips.
In 1787 he was elected a Fellow of the Linnaean Society in recognition of his contribution to botany.
Subsequently the plant Witheringia solanacea was named in his honour, and he became known on the continent of Europe as " The English Linnaeus ".
The William Withering Chair in Medicine at the University of Birmingham Medical School is named after him, as is the medical school's annual William Withering Lecture.

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