The word 'magnesium' is derived from 'magnesia' for the Magnesia district in Greece where talc
(magnesium stone) was first mined (1,2)
. However, there are other cities that are also named after
the magnesium deposits in local regions (3)
. In 1808, Sir Humphry Davy discovered magnesium,
but named it magnium, because he considered magnesium to sound too much like manganese.
However, in time, the word magnesium was adopted (3-6)
. Twenty years later, magnesium was
purified by the French scientist, Bussy (7)
. The essentiality of magnesium in plants was established
nearly 50 years later (around 1860) by scientists such as Knop, Mayer, Sachs, and Salm-Horstmar
, and during the period 1904-1912, Willstatter identified magnesium as part of the chlorophyll
. For many years, magnesium was applied unknowingly to agricultural lands
through manure applications or as an impurity with other processed fertilizers (10)
; therefore, incidences
of magnesium deficiency were relatively uncommon.