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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0416 • Johann Amman to Carl Linnaeus, 29 November 1740 n.s.
Dated 18. Nov. 1740. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Viro clarissimo atque celeberrimo
CAROLO LINNAEO
S[alutem] pl[urimam]
Joannes Amman

Humanissimas d[ie] 16. Octobr[is] Holmia ad me datas literas prospere accepi.[1] Has perlegendo miratus statim sum, illas quas hoc anno ad Te exaravi in manus Tuas non pervenisse.[2] Celebri hujus urbis mercatori[3] ante plures menses exemplar tractatus mei de stirpibus rarioribus in Imperio Rutheno sponte provenientibus[4] tradidi Holmiam ad Te mittendum. Si et hoc quoque periit, quaeso quam proxime me certiorern facias. Ante aliquot septimanas literas etiam ad Te misi per tabellarios publicos[5] , in quibus plura de plantis rarioribus continentur. Te has accepisse nullus dubito.

Nunc ad ea accedo, de quibus in ultimis Tuis agis[2] , nempe ad dubia quaedam & desiderata circa plantas nonnullas in tractatu meo descriptas & recensitas.[4] Incipiam ab Argusia Mess. Floruit praeterita aestate in horto AcademicoImperatorskaja akademija nauk,
Imperial Academy of Sciences

Russian. Imperial Academy of Sciences of
St Petersburg, founded in 1725. Its
publications are Commentarii
Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis
Petropolitanae
, 1-14 (1726 -
1744/1746 [i.e. pub. 1728 - 1751]) and
Novi Commentarii Academiae
Scientiarum Imperialis
Petropolitanae
, 1-20 (1747/1748 -
1775 [i.e. pub. 1750 - 1776]).
pulchra & singularis haec planta. Nosse desideras ejus stamina, stylum & stigmata. Haec autem ita se habent. Stylus vel pistillum, ut cum Tournefortio loquar, conicum est, breve, crassum, intra florem delitescens, calyci innatum, stigmate valde crasso, fere haemisphaerico praeditum. Stamina sunt quinque ut plurimum, subinde & sex, brevissima, fundo floris arcte adnata, apices albos, lineam fere longos bifidosque gerentia, qui farinam fundunt albissimam, totam fere floris partem inferiorem replentem. Corolla alba est, monopetala, inferne tubulata, superne in quinque segmenta patentia acuta & aequalia dissecta, marginibus eorum undulatis. Calyx parvus est, monophyllus, in quinque etiam segmenta valde angusta fissus. Reperies hujus plantae exemplar inter herbas siccatas, quas simul cum hac epistola ad Te mitto.

Flos Hellebori Fumariae foliis nectaria habet quinque flava; petala etiam quinque; stamina tot quot sunt vaginulae, duodecim ut plurimum, harum dorso appressa, admodum gracilia, apicibus flavis, exiguis praedita. Et hujus quoque specimen cum seminibus aestate praeterita in horto Academico lectis mitto.Est sane haec planta valde singularis & elegans. Icon quae in tractatu meo[5] extat, illam non satis accurate repraesentat.

Valerianella nemorosa repens etc. Mess[ersmidii]Messerschmied, Daniel Gottlieb
(1685-1735). German. Botanist.
Travelled in Siberia.
radice repente, caulibus procumbentibus, foliis, floribus, staminum numero crescendique modo, fateor, cum Serpillifolia Buxb[baumii]Buxbaum, Johann Christian
(1693-1730). German. Professor of
botany, St Petersburg.
omnino convenit. Verum si calicis & fructus structuram & formam consideramus, qualis a Te & a Messersmidio descripta est, aliquo modo differre videbitur. Tu calicem duplicem statuis in Generibus plantarum[6] , alterum qui floris germini insidet, alterum qui fructum amplectitur, hunc autem esse capsulam ovatam, glabram, trilocularem, calice fructus tectam. Messersmidius vero scribit calicem floris quinquepartitum esse[7] , summo semini oblongiuscule rotundo & hirsuto insidentem & post florem deciduum superstitem. Vides igitur secundum descriptionem Tuam Messersmidii plantam a Tua differre calice simplici, semine non capsula contento, sed nudo, hirsuto. Messersmidius nec semina nec siccata specimina secum ex Sibiria attulit, quorum attenta consideratio & Tua & mea dubia solvere posset; nam & ipse fere persuasus sum Valerianellam hanc eandem esse plantam, quae Serpillifolia Buxbaumii. Inserui ejus descriptionem tractat[ui] de stirp[ibus] rar[ioribus] [in Imperio] Ruth[eno][4] ut ulteriori inquisitioni ansam praeberet iis, qui regiones peragrant, in quibus Auctor illam reperit.

Ex specimine sicco Lathyroidis, quod Tibi cum pluribus aliis mitto, ipse satis superque videbis quam diversa sit planta ab Orobo Tuo quarto in Horto Cliffortiano[8] descrìpto. Coluntur in horto Academico aliquot hujus plantae specimina, praeterita aestate e seminibus Irkutensibus enata, flores autem nondum protulerunt.

Praeter plantam illam leguminosam, cujus semina primus ad Cl[arissimum] DilleniumDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Oxonium misi & ex qua Tu novum genus propter formam corollae sub Trigonellae titulo constituisti, aliam hortus Academicus alit speciem perraram, quae descripta est in tractatu de Stirp[ibus] rar[ioribus] [in Imperio] Ruth[eno][4] sub nomine Meliloti n. 159.

Chamaejasme fructum habet exsuccum, turbinatum, fere instar Valerianellae vulgaris, adeoque ad Thymelaeas referri non potest. Praeter ossicula Menispermi nulla alia pars hujus plantae in conspectum meum pervenit. Cymbariae semina jam quater locis humidis & calidis, siccioribus & frigidioribus, terrae pingui & steriliori commisi, sed perperam. Non gliscunt semina. Coridis junceae flores ipse nondum vidi. Thalictrioidis autem flores et Hypecoi semina inter specimina plantarum siccata reperies.

Scribis Te Lutetiae Parisior[um] apud JussieviosJussieu, Bernard de
(1699-1777). French. Professor of
botany, brother of Antoine and Joseph de
Jussieu. Demonstrator at the Jardin des
plantes. Sébastien Vaillantís
successor. Uncle of Antoine Laurent de
Jussieu. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
plantam vidisse sub Thalictrioidis nomine cultam, quam paucis a mea differre existimas. Ego vero plane diversas esse plantas judico. Iussievii enim baccas obtinet; mea fructum habet siccum, corniculatum, seminibus villosis foetum. Licet floribus convenirent, ob fructus tamen diversos ad diversa etiam genera referri debent. Reperitur quoque in Sibiria Christophorianae Species baccis rubris, quae forte eadem est quae Americana illa GronoviiGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
[9] & MorisoniMorison, Robert (1620-1683).
British. Botanist and physician.
Physician-in-ordinary to Charles II.
Professor in botany at Oxford.
[10] . Credo me hisce omnibus Tuis desideratis satisfecisse.

Vale igitur,
Vir Clarissìme & me,
ut facis, amare perge.

Petropoli d[ie] 18. Nov[embris] 1740.[11]

upSUMMARY

Johann Amman has received a letter from Linnaeus dated 16 October (27 October n.s.), but reading it surprisingly noticed that Linnaeus had not received the one Amman wrote this year. He sent his book on rare Russian plants, Stirpium rariorum in imperio Rutheno sponte provenientium icones et descriptiones collectae, with a well-known merchant to Stockholm several months ago, and he wants to know, as soon as possible, if this also is lost. A few weeks ago he sent a letter by the post, and he hopes Linnaeus has received it.

Now he proceeds to what Linnaeus dealt with in his latest letter, i.e. questions about some plants in Ammanís book.

Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmiedís Argusia, a beautiful and unusual plant, flowered last summer in the garden of the Imperial Academy of sciences. The style is conical, short, thick and concealed within the flower and inserted into the calyx. The stigma is very thick and almost hemispherical. The stamens are usually five, sometimes six, very short and closely attached to the bottom of the flower. They have white anthers about a line long and cloven, which discharge a very white powder. The corolla is white and monopetalus. The calyx is small, of one leaf divided into very narrow segments. Amman encloses a dried specimen of it in this letter.

The flower of the Helleborus Fumariae foliis has five yellow nectaries and five petals. The stamens are generally twelve, with small yellow anthers. Amman sends a specimen of this plant, too, with seeds gathered last summer in the garden of the Academy of sciences. The picture in Ammanís book is not very accurate.

Messerschmiedís Valleriana nemorosa repens etc agrees with Johann Christian Buxbaumís Serpyllifolia. Linnaeus, however, described it differently in Genera plantarum. Messerschmiedís plant differs from that describing a simple calyx and a naked hairy seed not contained in a capsule. Amman did not have the opportunity to examine it since Messerschmied brought neither seeds nor dried specimens from Siberia. Amman is almost convinced that the Valleriana is Buxbaumís Serpyllifolia, and he has a description in his book to be used by those who will visit the places where Messerschmied found it.

Amman sends a dried specimen of Lathyroides which abundantly shows how different it is from Linnaeusís Orobus in the Hortus Cliffortianus. It grows now in the garden of the Academy of sciences, but it has not yet flowered.

Besides the plant from which Linnaeus constituted the new genus Trigonella Amman, the garden of the Academy of sciences has another very rare species, described in his book under the name Melilotus.

Chamaejasme cannot belong to the Thymaeleae since it has a dry and turbinate fruit. Amman has seen only the seeds of the Menispermum. He has sown the seeds of Cymbaria four times, but in vain. He has not yet seen the flowers of the Coris juncea. Linnaeus will find flowers of Thalictrioides and seeds of Hypecoum among the dried specimens.

Amman judges the Thalictrioides, cultivated by Bernard Jussieu in Paris, to be very different from his plant. Though the flowers agree they have different fruits. In Siberia a species of Christophoriana with red berries is found, which may be the same as the American one in Johan Fredrik Gronoviusís Flora Virginica and Robert Morisonís Plantarum historiae universalis Oxoniensis pars secunda-tertia.

Amman believes that he has now answered to all Linnaeusís questions.

Based on ED1.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, I, 138-139,142-). b. copy (LS, I, 140-141). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

upEDITIONS

1. A selection (1821), vol. 2, p. 200-203   p.200  p.201  p.202  p.203.
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 61-64   p.61  p.62  p.63  p.64.

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
Linnaeus to Johann Amman, 16 October 1740 o.s., 27 October 1740 n.s.Letter L0406.
2.
Johann Amman to Linnaeus, 7 September 1740 n.s.Letter L0404.
3.
Unknown to us.
4.
5.
Johann Amman to Linnaeus, 8 November 1740 o.s., 19 November 1740 n.s.Letter L0417.
6.
7.
There is no written report of Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmiedís research-expedition to Sibiria.
8.
9.
The letter is accompanied (f. 142) by a list of plants: Catalogus plantarum siccatarum.
1. Calceolus fl. purpureo specioso Stirp. rar.
2. Abrotani species fl. aureis.
3. An Gentianae species? vel quid?
4. Gentiana minima Stirp. rar.
5. Phalangii forte Species. Stirp. rar.
6. Gramen quale?
7. Gei nova species.
8. Helleborus Stirp. rar. n. 101.
9. Asclepias Linariae fol. Stirp. rar.
10. Asclepias foliis linearibus.
11. Pentaphylloides fruticosa etc. Stirp. rar.
12. Viola quaenam?
13. Helleborus Fumariae fol. Stirp. rar.
14. Coris juncea aphyllos Stirp. rar.
15. Thalictrioides Stirp. rar.
16. Ballote Stirp. rar. n. 59.
17. Lysimachia Stirp. rar. n. 28.
18. Ruyschiana glabra etc. Stirp. rar.
19. Turritis?
20. Quid? duplices habet flores alios masculinos, alios femininos in eadem planta.
21. Delphinium floribus amplis azureis, perenne, Stirp. rar.
22. Ballote fol. Coronopi Stirp. rar.
23. Geranium quale?
24. Acinos species Sibir.
25. Argusia Mess. Stirp. rar.
26. Artemisiae nova species.
27. Spinaciae forte species. Stirp. rar.
28. Alsine viscosa & graveolens.
29. Amethystina Mess. Stirp. rar.
30. Elegans Filiculae Sibiricae species.
31. Lathyroides Mess. Stirp. rar.
Catalogus seminum
32. Hypecoon etc. Stirp. rar.
33. Androsace etc. Stirp. rar.
34. Helleborus Fumariae foliis Stirp. rar.
35. Menispermum etc. Stirp. rar.
36. Delphinium perenne Aconiti fol. etc. St. rar.
37. - - - - - - fl. amplis azureis ib.
J. Amman.