The genus “zinnia” was named by Linneas in honor of Johann Gottfried Zinn. Zinn was a German anatomist, ophthalmologist, and botanist born in 1727 and died in 1759 (in Germany). He was extraordinary professor of medicine and director of the botanical gardens in the university town of Gottingen. He was one of the first to render an accurate description of the eyeball and he investigated the vessels and nerves of the eye cavity. He collected seeds of Z. elegans (from which the garden Zinnia descends) in Mexico. There he was accosted by bandits who, after searching his bag, left him alone, believing him crazy and therefore unlucky.
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