This handsome monument honours the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who popularised a system of sexual classification of plants in the 18th century.
It originally stood in the previous incarnation of the Botanic Garden on Leith Walk, having been commissioned by the Regius Keeper John Hope who was a great advocate of Linnaeus and his system.
A variety of designs were produced by the celebrated architect Robert Adam, with the simplest chosen: an ovoid, handle-less urn, atop a plinth, decorated with a carved mask and swags, and a marble inscription.
Built of Craigleith sandstone in 1779, just a year after Linneaus’ death, it is one of the oldest monuments to this botanist in the world.
When the Garden moved here in the 1820s, the monument was regarded as so significant that it was moved at the same time. It has stood in several locations, and is currently found at the rear of the main glasshouse range.