Maxime Cornu, French botanist and mycologist, graduated in the sciences at the "Ecole Normale Superieure" in 1868 and was awarded a doctorate in science at the "FacultÃ© des sciences de Paris" in 1872. His thesis was published in Paris that same year, with the title Monographie des SaprolÃ©gniÃ©es; Ã©tude physilogique et systÃ©matique. He worked as assistant naturalist at the Jardin des Plantes (Botanical garden) in Paris from 1874, then became a lecturer in organography and plant physiology at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (in the Jardin des Plantes) in 1876, and was promoted to professor of field cultivation at the museum in 1884. He held the latter post to his death in 1901. His books included Etude sur le Phylloxera vastatrix (1878), and Les jardin des plantes de Paris, et les colonies francaises (1898). He also wrote numerous scientific articles on plants from various parts of the world and their cultivation, his work with cryptogams, mildew (he was one of the first to point out its dangers), phylloxera in vines, wheat rust, and plant parasites in general. One of his articles dealt with a new genus (Schoenlandia) of African plants.
Cornu may have visited the Cape to investigate phylloxera in its vineyards, for in 1880 an eleven page report by him was translated from the French into Dutch and published in Cape Town under the title Dr Cornu en de phylloxera. Rapporten over zieke wijngaarden aan de Kaap en beschermingsmaatregelen tegen de phylloxera bij de Kaapsche Regeering ingekomen (Dr Cornu and the phylloxera. Reports on diseased vineyards at the Cape and protective measures against the phylloxera received by the Cape government).