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Planchon Jules Émile

The French botanist Jules Émile Planchon (1823-1888) studied in Montpellier Pharmacy and medicine and returned to this university in 1853 as a professor of botany. In the meantime he had worked in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew in England and as a teacher in Ghent and Nancy. In 1868 he became with the vineyard owner Gaston Bazille (1819-1894) and the gardener Félix Sahut to investigate the cause of the mysterious vine death that subsequently occurred across Europe. Within just two days, they succeeded as the cause phylloxera to identify. When they had some rootstocks of sick vines dug up, the roots seemed to be covered with yellow varnish because of the large amount of vine insects.

Planchon immediately suspected that there should also be a winged form of these insects and actually discovered with the magnifying glass those on the withered foliage of the vine. These specimens were equipped with two pairs of transparent wings and amazingly resembled the oak parasite "Phylloxera quercus" (the two insect species are not related to each other). That is why Planchon gave the devastating pest the apt name "Phylloxera vastatrix" (devastating / destructive louse). Planchon, in collaboration with other experts, only realized that phylloxera had been brought in from America only years later during a study trip to the USA in 1873.

The French government had already established a commission to combat phylloxera in 1870, which examined over 700 proposals. Planchon had the American entomologist (insect scientist) Charles Valentine on his trip to the USA Riley (1843-1895). With this he found the as finishing designated and still valid solution by grafting noble rice on American ones documents (Rhizomes). It should be mentioned, however, that previously others such as the above mentioned bazille and the biologist Georg Engelmann (1809-1884) proposed this solution. However, it took nine years before the import of American vines was allowed, and years of attempts to make them phylloxera-resistant and with the various European ones soil types select compatible rhizomes.

Pierre played a key role in this Viala (1859-1936), who headed a delegation sent to the United States by the French Department of Agriculture in 1887 and there by the American botanist Thomas Volnay Munson (1843-1913) got important information. More years passed before the "Americanists" ennobled against the "Sulfurists" represented chemical control solution. With the extensive import of American vines, the large third plague is most likely wrong mildew common. And again it was Planchon who determined this dangerous mushroom in 1878. In 1880 Planchon described the grape species Vitis berlandieri and named them after the Swiss biologist Jean Louis Berlandier; today it's called Vitis cinerea var. Helleri,

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