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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0625 • Johann Georg Gmelin to Carl Linnaeus, 28 May 1745 n.s.
Dated XVII Maj. MDCCXLV.. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Celeberrimo,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo LINNAEO,
Fautori in aeternum venerando,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
J[ohann] G[eorgius] Gmelin.

Raro contingit, ut homo paucis horis tantum proficiat quantum ego ex Tua epistola 24 April[is] scripta & heri accepta.[1] Nitorem & veritatem Florae Sibiricae Tibi unice adscribam; Tibi enim debetur.[2]

Quando arundinem foliis paucis panicula spicata spiculis confertis H[orti] Cliff[ortiani][3] ad Phalaridem refers, dicis hoc Te facere, quia spica Phalaridis vulgaris etiam (lobata) sit, quae non satis intelligo. Interim Tuam auctoritatem pro norma habens in Flora Sib[irica] correxi & ad phalaridem retuli. Optarem tamen Tuo nomine specifico ut, ubi licitum esset, ne numerus nominum specificorum nimium excresceret, quod igitur rogo, ut mecum communices.

Synonymon Poae 20 Rajanum, quod mihi perscribis, jam docuerat Baro BielkeBielke, Sten Carl (1709-1753).
Swedish. Baron, government official,
patron of science, and naturalist. One
of the founders of the Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences. Private pupil of
Linnaeus. Close friend of Pehr Kalm,
whose voyage to America he supported
financially. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. Dum autem conferebam cum descriptione Scheuchzeriana Agr[ostographiae] p. 276[4] non potui a me impetrare, ut Scheuchzerianum pro meo haberem. Modo ScheuchzerusScheuchzer, Johann (1684-1738).
Swiss. Botanist, professor of physics
at Zürich. Brother of Johann Jacob
Scheuchzer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in synonymo Rajano non erraverit. Panicula triuncialis aut paulo longior, taxa & folliculi quatuor, quinque aut sex, et loca montosa sicca pro loco natali non conveniunt cum panicula semipedali & dodrantali stricta, folliculis octo ad duodecim & locis palustribus humidisve pratis pro loco natali. Rajanum synonymon & Buxbaumianum & descriptio Scheuchzeriana p. 200 Graminis loliacei panicula multiplici & spicata Tourne[fortii]Tournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
meo conveniunt satis bene. Oblitus sum illud gramen ad Te mittere, quod pro Scheuchzeriano ego habeo, & mittam cum tertio fasciculo, quem heri ab amicissimo BaelteroBaelter, Sven (1713-1760).
Swedish. Clergyman. Cathedral dean of
Växjö. Travelled in Russia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
repetii, quia ante ejus abitum nullam occasionem mittendi dicit.

Juncus 9 primi fasciculi si est Juncus parvus cum pericarpiis rotundis C[aspari] B[auhini]Bauhin, 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.
, quid erit juncus 44 tertii fasciculi, quem ego adhuc pro hac specie habui.

Synonymon 19 poae mihi scribis. Poa foliis setaceis compressis caulino latiore, panicula coarctata, &c., Roy[eni]Royen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, sed invenire nequeo.

Varietas poae 12 sine dubio alia species est. Tu habes pro poa vulgari, h[oc] e[st], uti ego interpretor, pro Poa spiculis ovatis compressis muticis, Fl[orae] Lapp[onicae] 51,[5] Scheuchz[eri] 177, sed locustae plerumque uniflorae, raro biflorae, sunt & flores pubescentes.

Poam 17 Tu pro gramine pratensi minori s[ive] vulgatissimo R[aji]Ray, John (1627-1705).
British. Naturalist and clergyman. One
of the most influential botanists before
Linnaeus.
Syn[opsis] & Hist[oriae][a][a] : MS1 [added above the line] [6] habes. Postquam descriptiones Rajanas legi, nullus dubito. Ergo Scheuchzerus, p. 189, sub nomine pratensis paniculati minoris C[aspari] B[auhini] aliam speciem describit & cum Scheuchzero & HalleroHaller, Albrecht von
(1708-1777). Swiss. Naturalist and
poet, professor of medicine, botany,
anatomy and surgery at Göttingen
1736-1753. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
major fides in synonymis Bauhinianis adhiberi possit quam Rajo; synonyma forte Raji omnia delenda sunt.

Festucam 27 Tu habes pro avena panicula nutante, calycibus bifloris, &c., Roy[eni] 66, gramine nodoso avenacea panicula C[aspari] B[auhini], Scheuchz[eri]. In gramine nodoso duo flores & aristae infra medium glumae exeuntes & calycis glumae admodum inaequales & panicula saepe spadicea. In mea festuca calyces uniflori & eorum glumae fere aequales aristae ex apice, panicula plerumque rubra aut violacea. An haec conciliari possunt?

Cyperoides 36 Tu dicis esse Cyperoides spicis seminalibus longius pediculatis nutantibus, suprema marem gracilem & albidam contingente, Hall[eri] Helv[etiae] 237. Mihi visum est meam plantam ab hoc differre hirsutia & folio spicae seminiferae subjecto. Hoc vero credidi esse glabrum & cum squama sub spica seminifera. Meum gramen habui pro Cyperoide latifolio hirsuto, spicis tenuissimis, Scheuchz[eri] Agr[ostographiae] 412, & in flora mea sequentia adjeci. Magna huic cum Cyperoide spicis seminilibus longius pediculatis nutantibus, suprema marem gracilem & albidum contingente, Hall[eri] Helv[etiae] 237,[7] & cum Cyperoide angustifolio alpino, spica spadicea tenuiore, Scheuchz[eri] 413, adfinitas.

Et haec sunt praecipua dubia, quae expeto, ut diducas. Commemorare decet me Festucas inter & Poas Tuas non satis discriminis deprendere posse, quia dantur species festucae, quarum quaedam individua penitus mutica, alia aristata. Conjunxi igitur utrumque genus sub poae nomine & festucae nomen graminibus reliqui, quorum calyx biglumis aristatis & flores aristati, arista ex apice prodeunte tortili, geniculo flexa aut recta. Si & hac in parte errantem in viam ducere mavis, resipiscentiam facile in me excitabis.

Vidi in novellis Holmiensibus[8] Te auctore diss[ertationem] bot[anicam] prodiisse de Peloria.[9] Venerabilis praeterea Baelterus recensionem eius diss[ertationis] ibidem factam lingua mihi nota exposuit, quam summa cum voluptate percepi. Nec possum mihi temperare, quin Tibi significem jam ante annum cogitationem animum subiisse fieri interdum novas plantas ex copula diversarum specierum aut generum, uti in regno animali ex asino & equo fit mulus. Et, ubi id in regno animali, ita & in vegetabili raro contingit. Quinque aut sex jam delphinia Sibirica possideo, quorum differentias indicare valeo, sed ex Sibiria duas tantum species extuli. Certe multa supersunt[b][b] : MS1 super- [added above the
line
]
in botanica adhuc explicatu difficilia, quae ex hoc theoremate, si assumeretur, explicari possunt. Sed fere jam oblivioni tradideram & in exordio supprimere volebam metuens, ne malis cogitationibus accenseant codicis sacri interpretes falsi aut Siegesbeckii]Siegesbeck, Johann Georg
(1686-1755). German. Prussian botanist,
doctor of medicine at Wittenberg in
1716, physician and director of the
botanical garden at St Petersburg
1735-1747. One of the most bitter
opponents of Linnaeus’s sexual system.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
innumeri, quibus orbis scatet.

Recensionem Boletorum Hallerianum ego non capio & Hallerus videtur unam cum alia specie confudisse. Sed haereo. Permitte, ut recensione duarum specierum mea Tibi animi sensa explicem. Ipsum Hallerum consulere jam non licet, quia scripsit se iter in patriam hac aestate facturum esse.

1. Phallus petiolo nudo, pileo subtus laxo. Linn[aeus], h[ortus] Cliff[ortianus], 478.
Phallo-boletus esculentus pileo parvo conico ex fulvo subobscuro pediculo leucophaeo fistuloso. Mich[elius], gen[era], 203, t. 84, f. 3.[10]
Boletus petiolo rugoso, pileolo celluloso ovali & conico, Hall[eri] Helv[etiae] p. 24 n. 3 & 4, quoad desc[riptio], non quoad synonyma.

2. Phallus petiolo nudo, pileo subtus undique adnexo. Linn[aeus], h[ortus] Cliff[ortianus], p. 479.
Boletus esculentus rugosus albicans quasi fuligine infectus. Tourn[efortius], inst[itutiones], 561; Mich[elius], gen[era], 203, t. 85, f.2.
Fungus porosus. B[auhinus] pin[ax], 370.[11]
Fungus rugosus seu cavernosus sive Merulinus. B. Hist. III p. 836.
_) Merulinus ingens collo crasso carneo flavescente, capite ingente flavo, Boerh[avii]Boerhaave, Herman (1668-1738).
Dutch. Professor of medicine, botany and
chemistry at Leiden. One of the most
influential professors of medicine of
the eighteenth century. Linnaeus visited
him during his stay in Holland.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. Hall[erus], Helv[etia], add., p. 764.

Nescivi praeter Parasceven Hiaernianam sex etiam specimina actorum laboratorii Chymici prodiisse.[12] Enixe rogo, ut haec Parascevi, quam jam in prioribus litteris expetii, jungas. Vale!

Dabam Petropoli d[ie] XVII Maj[i] MDCCXLV.

P.S.1 Misi ad Te Tom[um] IX Comment[ariorum academiae scientiarum imperialis] Petrop[olitanae][13] per D[omi]n[um] Secretarium LagerpflichtLagerflycht, Johan (1701-1774).
Swedish. Baron, president of the
circuit appeal-court at Åbo,
Finland, in 1768.
, cui[c][c] : MS1 <qui> cui & per litteras [d][d] : MS1 <habet> significatum est
[added above the line]
significatum est[d][d] : MS1 <habet> significatum est
[added above the line]
Holmiae advenisse. An forte Tibi non redditus est?

P.S.2 Planta 25 tertii fasciculi pro Peucedano vulgari a me exhibita est. Vide, an differentia sit. Flores nunquam lutei, sed plerumque purpurascentes inprimis noviter explicati. Umbellae etiam haud amplissimae dici merentur. Varietates sunt. Uti in vulgari frigus perfert. Quae foliolis est angustissimis; ejus semina minus turgent & basi leviter emarginata distinctaque ora foliacea cincta alternis semina paulo oblongiora & crassiora perobscure marginata cum basi integra.

upSUMMARY

Johann Georg Gmelin has received Linnaeus’s letter of 24 April 1745 o.s., 5 May 1745 n.s.

Linnaeus groups Arundo foliis paucis panicula spicata spiculis confertis with Phalaris in Hortus Cliffortianus, because the spikes are lobate. Gmelin has some doubt, but follows Linnaeus in Flora Sibirica.

There follows a discussion of John Ray’s synonym of a Poa no. 20 and whether it convenes with a grass that Gmelin has.
Gmelin is uncertain regarding a Juncus. There is a discussion of some Poae. Festuca and Cyperoides are discussed.

Gmelin has seen in Lärda tidningar that Linnaeus has published a dissertation on Peloria. Sven Baelter has translated a review of this work for him.

Gmelin believes that new plants can come from a union between different species or genera, just as among animals: a mule is the offspring of a donkey and a horse. Gmelin has evidence of hybridization in Delphinium.

Gmelin does not understand Albrecht von Haller’s classification of the Boleti. Haller seems to have made some mistakes regarding species. Gmelin classifies two species of Phallus petiolo nudo to show Linnaeus what he means.

Gmelin did not know that apart from Urban Hiärne’s Acta et tentamina chymica six other works have been published in Acta Laboratorii Chymici in Stockholm; he wants all these.

P.S.1 Gmelin has sent Linnaeus Commentarii academiae scientiarum imperialis Petropolitanae, vol. IX, through Johan Lagerflycht.

P.S.2 Gmelin has classified a plant as Peucedanum vulgare. He asks for Linnaeus’s opinion.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 25-26). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added above the line]
b.
MS1 super- [added above the line]
c.
MS1 <qui> cui
d.
MS1 <habet> significatum est [added above the line]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See Linnaeus to Johann Georg Gmelin, 24 April 1745 o.s., 5 May 1745 n.s.Letter 5917.
2.
3.
4.
Scheuchzer, Agrostographia sive historia graminum .
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Linnaeus thought that Peloria (Gr. for “monstrous”) was a hybridization. But it is just an epigenetic mutation, which has changed the symmetry of the flower from bilateral to radial. See Linnaeus, Dissertatio botanica de PeloriaLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
botanica de Peloria
, diss., resp. D.
Rudberg (Uppsala 1744). Soulsby no.
1395.
. For this “monsterplant”, which caused Linnaeus so many problems, see Linnell, “Några ord om Linnés Peloria och dess locus classicus”Linnell, T. “Några ord om
Linnés Peloria och dess locus
classicus”, SLÅ 35 (1952),
62-70.
, 62-70, and Gardiner, “Linnaeus’s species concept and his views on evolution”Gardiner, B. G. “Linnaeus’s
species concept and his views on
evolution”, The Linnean 17
(2001), 24-36.
, 28.
In 1706 Hiärne published Actorum laboratorii Stockholmensis parasceve , which was written in Swedish. In 1712 there was a second volume in Latin, Acta et tentamina .
Novi commentarii academiae scientiarum imperialis Petropolitanae .