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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0202 • Albrecht von Haller to Carl Linnaeus, 12 September 1737 n.s.
Dated XII Sept. 1737. Sent from Göttingen (Germany) to (). Written in Latin.

Experientissimo Viro,
Botanico summo, D[omino] D[octori]
Carolo Linnaeo,
s[alutem] p[lurimam] d[icit]
Alb[ertus] Haller.

Epistolam Tuam cum Critica[1] & Musa[2] recte adcepi. Mittam vicissim specimina Botanica de Pediculari[3] et Veronica.[4] Fuerunt autem Tuae literae simillimae dissertationis mihi obpositae. Sed id omne ab animo amicissimo profectum esse certus confido neque recuso doceri meliora.

Atque primo [a][a] : MS1 [added in the lower
margin
]
adde me primis, quibus hic moratus sum, diebus amisisse uxorem[5] omnibus animi & corporis dotibus ornatissimam. Quo in justissimo luctu hoc ipsum Programma[6] coactus sum consignare. Quare Mendas irrepsisse minus videtur Venia indignum.[a][a] : MS1 [added in the lower
margin
]
In Stellaria mea observatio Vaillantiana firmatur. In Linagrostide incertus sum. In Linosyride lapsus est meaeque notae habent stamina 5. In Persicaria sex septemve st[amina][b][b] : MS1 [added above the line] neque unquam decem, ut mones. In Fumaria idem est, an sex an duo, statuas.

RiviniRivinus, August Quirinus
(1652-1723). German. Professor of
medicine and botany at Leipzig.
Constructed a plant classification
system based on petals.
causam suscipis et quare? Intolerabilem inpossibilemque ob difficillimos floris regularis terminos, ob petalorum incertitudinem in multis & alia nimis Tibi nota. Videris quasi de Instituto contra me sensisse magis quam ex animi sententia. Sanguisorba an monosperma? Hoc contra me et omnes Auctores. Tormentillae semina incerta, petala ipsa incerta & pessime pentaphyllis eximitur. Tormentilla est Alpina, quae radice est maxima, saepe 5 petala habet; semina plerumque quinis plura. Umbilicatus fructus eleganter distinguitur a non umbilicato neque dubius est Character, quod me rectius nosti. Orchides habent duo stamina in cucullo recondita, Tubam nullam aut perobscuram, florem difformem, &c. Sed a helleborine, &c.[c][c] : MS1 [added above the line] maxime staminum cucullis discernuntur, cum in helleborine, Neottia Tua, aliisque adfinibus in[d][d] : MS1 [added above the line] corpusculo spongioso quasi nidulentur. TournefortiusTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
quoties fere[e][e] : MS1 [added above the line] classes naturales habet, methodum suam deseruit et contra se ipsum testatur. Nullum a[utem] [f][f] : MS1 <naturale> constans ipsi
[added above the line]
constans ipsi[f][f] : MS1 <naturale> constans ipsi
[added above the line]
est Systematis fundamentum neque flos neque fructus, cum & flores diversissimos fructusque in easdem classes conjiciat. Florum v[ero] figuras pro classibus adsumsit Variabiles, indeterminatas. Non[g][g] : MS1 Non <ego> inde, si meliora non fecerim, ego, qui subsidiis & ocio destituor, non inde non erraverunt Tournefortius aut Rivinus. Magnoliana tueris? An forte non legisti? Vix videntur tueri posse. De calyce enim vix agit, sed tantum summas classes constituit florum nudorum et calyce praeditorum. Pessimi, ut vides. Interior omnis distributio juxta florem & fructum est. Quando BauhiniBauhin, Caspar (1560-1624).
Swiss. Botanist and physician, Basle.
Bauhin’s Prodromus and Pinax
theatri botanici
(1620, 1623, 1671)
were important works in the field of
botanical nomenclature.
synonyma non sufficientes habent synonymias, debent omitti aut cum dubii nota adponi, non avelli a Tournefortianis & pejus[h][h] : MS1 <malis> pejus distribui. Character floris capitati, discoidei, Dipsacoidei VaillantioVaillant, Sébastien
(1669-1722). French. Botanist and
surgeon. Professor at the Jardin des
plantes. His theory on plant sexuality
influenced Linnaeus who regarded
Vaillant as one of the most important
botanists.
nullus omnino est, sed caute obruitur lector Charactere vero, a[i][i] : MS1 <sed> a vicinis autem non distincto. Lychnides & Rapunculos me conjungere perinique. Moneo lectorem ex rigore methodi Boerhaavianae Lychnides in monoangias, triangias, Rapunculos in diangios & triangios secedere, uti Alsines ab Alsinellis, Alsinastrum tripetalon a pentapetalo sejungi debet ex rigore Rajanae. Adeo Tu me amas culpare, qui tam multa monueras de ea patientia, quam sibi mutuo [j][j] : MS1 <praestant> praestare
debent [debent added above the
line
]
praestare debent[j][j] : MS1 <praestant> praestare
debent [debent added above the
line
]
Botanici.

De Herbis & Arboribus consentio aegre, sed limites desunt.

In Lichene omnino non quidem genera, sed sectiones fieri debent. Prima Pyxides[k][k] : MS1 <Acelabula> Pyxides
[added above the line]
habet aut cornicula teretia sine scutellis. Altera folia et scutellas. Tertia folia sine scutellis. Quarta scutellas sine foliis. Quinta expansionem meram sine foliis scutellisque. Plumeriana[7] habeo, neque folia tamen negligo. Sunt enim pars in filicinis princeps. Neque videor mihi ineptire, si ab intimo Charactere quaedam sperarem. Praeferrem utique, sed habesne Tu aliqua?

De Unifolio tune dubitas, an Te exscripserim, qui anno 1731 Characterem hunc consignavi, qui ante Junium 1737 ne lineam ex Tuis praeter statices limoniique Characterem vidi a GronovioGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeus’s benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Gesnero, hinc mihi, missum. Parcius haec objicere viris memento. Nihil enim mihi amarius quam Plagii suspicio.

In uva ursi seduxerunt[1] me folia punctata. Uvam certe ursi & Andromedas Tuas Vacciniaque admodum expeto. Alias etiam notabo Laponicas, quas, si supersunt, mitte, Tuam etiam Linnaeam.[8]

Quando definitiones ab usu rejicio, usus intelligo incertos Pontederianos,[9] quales petalis, staminibus, &c. adsignavit. Facile est dare nasi definitionem ope tunicae pituitariae structuraeque turbinator[um] ossium sine usu, licet is evidens sit neque controversus. Et id Tu culpas intra sinum. Defendis, ut me refutes.

In opulo erravi. Volui steriles dicere.

Nunc ad Pl[antas] Alpinas. Addidi Diapensiam, quam omiseram, ut Tibi notam. Alchimillae adfinis nunquam Petala ostendit. Quater omnino repetii experimentum. De sexu Cruciatae non habeo. Polygaloides et Chamaebuxum dudum novi idem esse; illud JohreniiJohrenius, Martin Daniel
(?-1718). German. Professor of botany
at Frankfurt/Oder.
, hoc T[ournefortii] nomen. Cur objicis? Forte duo exemplaria Tibi misi per errorem. Acinos pulchrior minime Teucrium est, sed vera Acinos habetque Galeam. Inquire! Duo Astragali parum differunt.[10] Folia alterius rotundiora, flores varii; alterius acutiora, habitus minor, flores subpurpurei, sed inquiram suo loco. De Veronicis Alpinis 4 aut 5 specimen meum Tibi satis faciet, ut spero.

Hortus Cliffortianus, pulcherr[imum] opus,[11] male compensabile mea synopsi.[12] Elaboravi polyangias. Sum in siliquosis, difficili gente, et careo Eruca Genevensi aliisque.

Ain Tu solana omnia bicapsularia esse?

Orchides[m][m] : MS1 <Arum>
<Orchidesque> Orchides
a bulbosis parum differunt in Char[actere] naturali, in systemate Staminibus, Tuba, Ovario, Arum ab utroque et est apetalon. Quo?

Hypopitydem mittam. Optimus Char[acter] DILL[ENII]Dillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, in quo nihil muto. Adfinis Orobanchae. Differt tamen in flore & fructu.

Agrimonia & salicaria similes flore, calyce, staminibus, imo fere fructu.

Antherae Marsillear[um] dehiscantne, quaeras? Millies vidi. Quando prodeunt ex volva, globus est viridis, adultus finditur. Fiunt 4 segmenta inque medio tomentum luteum adfine Muscis.

In MuntingioMunting, Abraham (1626-1683).
Dutch. Botanist and horticulturist,
professor of medicine at Groningen
1658-1683.
[13] non propero, sed CaesalpinoCesalpino, Andrea (1519-1603).
Italian. Botanist, professor of medicine
and botany in Pisa and Rome and
physician of Clement VIII. Best known
for his De plantis libri xvi
(1583).
[n][n] : MS1 <Caesalpinum> Cesalpino [14] vix possum carere.

MoehringiiMoehring, Paul Heinrich Gerhard
(1710-1792). German. East Frisian
ornithologist, practising physician at
Jever (Oldenburg). Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
hortus Oldenburgi 1737, 8.[15] Asphodeliris, ut ex literis cognovi, est Phal[angium] pal[ustre] Iridis folio. Convolvuloides (s[ive] erectus convolvulus) elegans est sectio 2. aut affine genus Convolvuli. Ego nova genera condere ejuravi. In Pedicularibus videbis 4 Characteres. Genus determinare nolui. Terruit Staehelinia, quae licet melampyri div[ers]a sit species, genus non est.

Non pertinax ero in saxifragia[sic] alba petraea. Sed habitus eximie altior est, qui minor debet esse in Alpina; flos multo major, &c.

De Teucrio Alpino videris, an Staeheliniam dicere velis. Gratum feceris namque[o][o] : MS1 <est> namque meretur Vir praeclarus sed nimis modestus. Videbis, quantum effecerit in synopsi mea.

Plantas Tu loco non vis distingui. Qua demum ratione ego distinguam? An Thermom[etro] & Barometro? Ea enim est ratio, quare nostrae Alpinae vobis sint pratenses. Conabor tamen. Sic v[erbi] g[ratia] Pediculares fere omnes Alpinae sunt nunquam montanae aut Jurassinae. Francam credo me habere; occurrit aliquando.

Synopsis utique non multum intra 3 000 pl[antas] erit. Differentias specificas conabor tradere, sed in conpendio non semper dari queunt. Novis a[utem] me arbores,[p][p] : MS1 <de> arbores Uvam Ursi, &c. nondum elaborasse. Quando v[ero] manus ultima erit imposita, spero tunc errores plerosque emansuros. Multis a[utem] praesidiis destituor. Tu posses plures Alpinas communicare. Longe plures habet Dillenius, sed aliquousque progrediar tamen. Verum ocium vix invenio. Absoluti sunt fungi, lichenes, musci, Diangiae, Triangiae & polyangiae omnes. In his nihil muto. Annuo labore reliqua emendabo.

Varietates cum nota numerica subjiciam speciei. Sed quoties non una, verum multae partes, eaeque in flore atque non in eadem ratione differunt, toties plantas semoverunt, ut 2 Cristas Galli, 2 Melampyra, &c.

Culpas, quod[q][q] : MS1 quod <culpas> moneam de lapsu Dill[enii] et Vaill[antii]. Et Tu de[r][r] : MS1 [added above the line] millenis mones! Nomine omnia mutas. Ego non auserim de musco hiscere? An ideo inviduus? An Dill[enium] non laudavi? An Vaillantio feci injuriam? Nonne licuit ostendere unico verbo me quaedam vidisse, quae tantos viros fugerant?

Tozzia est adfinis admodum Agerato & didynamia,[s][s] : MS1 <tetr-> didynamia sed monangia ex observatione MicheliMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
. Rem examinabo.

Ex stirpibus Tuis Alpinae sunt 85,[16] ut vid[etur], 88,[17] ut vid[etur], 231, 232,[18] ut vid[etur], 236[19] certo (qui[20] Morati nascitur ad lacum, ubi ab BurseroBurser, Joachim (1583-1639).
Danish. Professor of medicine and
botany, Sorö, 1625-1639.
inventus est. Non a[utem] videtur differre a palustri). Observavi 1728; 244 certo,[21] 303,[22] 353[23] (saltem Scheuchz[eri]Scheuchzer, Johann (1684-1738).
Swiss. Botanist, professor of physics
at Zürich. Brother of Johann Jacob
Scheuchzer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
), 443 certo.[24] De reliquis alias non liquet. Aliae certo non sunt Alpinae Helv[eticae].

Vale & porro in perficiente Arte Botanica labora atque me amare perge! Neque enim sententiarum diversitas nostros animos debet dividere. Quanto Te faciam ex eo, quod edimus, Diario erudito certius disces.[25]

Die XII Sept[embris] 1737.

De Critica Tua alias. Mineras quasdam, &c. possideo, quas Tibi offero pro Cliff[ortiano] horto.

upSUMMARY

In return for Linnaeus’s Critica botanica and Musa Cliffortiana Albrecht von Haller has sent his De Pedicularibus and De Veronicis.

Sébastien Vaillant’s observation is confirmed in Haller’s Stellaria. Haller is uncertain about Linagrostis. He admits being wrong about Linosyris (his notes mention five stamens). Persicaria has six or seven stamens, just as Linnaeus says, never ten. In Fumaria there are either six or two stamens.

August Quirinus Rivinus’s method is impossible because it does not differentiate between a regular and irregular flower. There are the uncertainties of the petals, etc. The statement that Sanguisorba has but one seed is contrary to the observations made by Haller and others. The number of seeds and petals in Tormentilla is uncertain. Tormentilla alpina often has five petals and more than five seeds. The Orchides have two stamens concealed in a hood, either no tube or a very obscure one, and an irregularly formed flower. Furthermore, the Orchides are easily discernible from Helleborine, Neottia (Linnaeus) and related plants, because in these the hoods of the stamens nestle in a little spongy body. Whenever Joseph Pitton de Tournefort has natural classes, he deserts his own method and bears witness against himself. His system has no foundation. He puts unrelated flowers and fruits in the same classes. Does Linnaeus defend Pierre Magnol? Magnol cannot be defended; he hardly takes the calyx into consideration. He bases his highest classes on naked flowers and those with a calyx. When Caspar Bauhin’s synonyms are not supported by sufficient synonyms, they ought to be omitted or marked as doubtful and not taken out of those of Tournefort and applied in a worse way. The characters of the capitate, discoid and dipsaceous flowers in Sébastien Vaillant amount to nothing. Haller admits that he was wrong to combine the genera of Lychnis and Rapunculus.

Haller admits there is no line separating herbs from trees. Lichenes are divisable not into genera, but into five sections.

Concerning Unifolium Haller never copied Linnaeus, since he drew up his character as early as 1731. Before June 1737 he had only read Linnaeus’s characters of Statice and Limonium.

The dotted leaves misled Haller in Uva ursi. He would like to have specimens of Linnaeus’s Uva ursi, Andromedae and Vaccinia, other Lapland plants and Linnaea.

When Haller rejects definitions founded on the uses, he means those doubtful ones, which Giulio Pontedera has attributed to the petals and stamens.

Haller was wrong about Opulus. He meant sterile flowers. To the Alpine plants he now adds his Diapensia. Alchemillae adfinis never shows any petals. He knows nothing about the sex of Cruciata. Polygaloides is Martin Daniel Johrenius’s name for Tournefort’s Chamaebuxus. The Acinos pulchrior is no Teucrium, but a true Acinos with a helmet (galea). The two Astragali hardly differ. There are four or five of the Veronica alpina.

Haller has finished the Polyangiae and is now working with the Siliquosae. He is missing Eruca genevensis.

The Orchides differ slightly in natural character from the bulbous plants. But there are systematic distinctions in the stamens, tube and ovary. Arum differs from them both and is apetalous. Haller asks where it should be placed. He will send a Hypopitys. Agrimonia and Salicaria are similar in flower, calyx, stamens and fruit. The anthers of Marsilea burst into four segments. In the centre there is a yellow tomentum close to the Mosses.

Paul Heinrich Gerhard Moehring’s Asphodeliris is the Phalangium palustris iridis folio. Convolvuloides (or Convolvulus erectus) is an elegant section or relation to the genus of Convolvulus. Staehelinia is not a genus. Saxifraga alba petraea is taller than an Alpine plant should be, etc.

Linnaeus does not want to use geography to distinguish plants; the Swiss Alpine plants are the same as Swedish meadow plants. All the Pediculares are Alpine; they are never found in mountains or in the Jura. Haller believes he has a specimen of Franca.

The Fungi, Lichenes, Musci, Diangiae, Triangiae and Polyangiae are finished. In these nothing was altered. He has two Cristae Galli and two Melampyra. Tozzia is closely related to Ageratum.

Among Linnaeus’s Lapland plants nrs. 85, 88, 231, 232 and 236, 244, 303, 353 and 443 all can be found in the Swiss Alps.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, VI, 157-158). [1] [2] [3]

upEDITIONS

1. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 289-297   p.289  p.290  p.291  p.292  p.293  p.294  p.295  p.296  p.297.

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added in the lower margin]
b.
MS1 [added above the line]
c.
MS1 [added above the line]
d.
MS1 [added above the line]
e.
MS1 [added above the line]
f.
MS1 <naturale> constans ipsi [added above the line]
g.
MS1 Non <ego>
h.
MS1 <malis> pejus
i.
MS1 <sed> a
j.
MS1 <praestant> praestare debent [debent added above the line]
k.
MS1 <Acelabula> Pyxides [added above the line]
m.
MS1 <Arum> <Orchidesque> Orchides
n.
MS1 <Caesalpinum> Cesalpino
o.
MS1 <est> namque
p.
MS1 <de> arbores
q.
MS1 quod <culpas>
r.
MS1 [added above the line]
s.
MS1 <tetr-> didynamia

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
MS1 <seduxit> seduxerunt
1.
2.
3.
4.
Haller, De Veronicis quibusdam alpinis observationum botanicarum spec.Haller, Albrecht von De
Veronicis quibusdam alpinis
observationum botanicarum spec.

(Göttingen 1737).
.
5.
6.
This passage is not quite clear. Haller’s inaugural address in Göttingen was De methodico studio botanices absque praeceptoreHaller, Albrecht von De
methodico studio botanices absque
praeceptore
(Göttingen 1736).
. There are, however, four other Programmata given by Haller during the years 1736-1737.
7.
8.
Linnea borealis.
9.
The periodical started by Haller was Göttingische Zeitungen von Gelehrten Sachen (Göttingen 1739-1752) Göttingische Zeitungen
von Gelehrten Sachen
(Göttingen
1739-1752).
.