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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0741 • Johann Georg Gmelin to Carl Linnaeus, 21 October 1746 n.s.
Dated X Octobr. MDCCXLVI. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.

Viro aeternum venerando,
D[omino] D[octori] LINNAEO,
S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit]
Joann[es] Georg[ius] Gmelin.

Felicem reditum ex Westrogothia & flores algae detectos ex toto corde gratulor.[1] Plura procul dubio Tuae perspicaciae natura reservavit, quae igitur etiam tributum a Te serius exiget. Id certe ego summis precibus a Deo contendam. Ceratospermi characterem confirmavi. Semina ejus brevi accipies una cum aliis, quae Astrachano denuo accepi. Sieg[esbeckius]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.
retulit etiam sibi apozynum Astrachanense germinasse, sed, quoniam hortum Academicum a duobus jam annis non invisi, nec videre contigit plantam. An nota species est? Pentaphylloides Amm[ani]Amman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
p. 85 est, ni fallor, Sibbaldiae species. Alsine no. 83, T. 10, petala habet quinque[a][a] : MS1 [added above the line] singula decemfida nec flore pleno est.[2] Stamina decem. Pistilla videbo, an in planta sicca discernere possim. De Cymbaria nihil novi quam quae habet descriptio in Ammani libro exstans. Chamaejasme Stelleriam vocare in animo habeo aut Medusam. Receptaculum commune quinque ad decem flores in capitulum laxum, leviter convexum, colligit. Calyx particularis nullus. Cor[olla] monopetala, infundibuliformis, persistens, &c., &c., tubo haud conspicue perforato. Filamenta vix ulla. Antherae decem quinque in fauce tubi, quinque in medio. Germen intra tubum corollae. Stylus vix ullus. Stigma capitatum. Receptaculum commune nudum. Semina solitaria nitida, quando maturuerunt stylo persistente instructa, sc. stylus qui ab initio vix ullus postea conspicuus evadit. Passerinae Tuae analogia esset planta, si modo una pars fructificationis addatur. Sed Passerina flores non habet in communi receptaculo. Scribe, quaeso, quid sentias, etiam de nomine. De plantis Buxbaumianis non plus rescire potero ac Tu ipse. Nam plantas ille inter chartas nunquam siccavit, nec itaque planta sicca de illo superest. Vix mihi persuadere possum, quod Kali ille vocaverit Ephedrae aut Salicorniae speciem. Saltim illius Kali bacciferi Tab. 18 semina puto esse cochleata. Sui temporis bonus fuit Botanicus nec facili decipi se passus est. Sed incuri[os]us erat in consignandis observationibus & delineandis plantis. Exemplum est Lupinaster, cujus delineatio saltim quoad legumina falsissima. Ceratocarpus folia habet perquam hirsuta, hujus hirsutiae ille nunquam meminit. Forte olim paullatim prodibunt ejus plantae. Ego quidem jam aliquas novi. Cucullaria pertinet sine dubio ad classem rubiacearum Vaill[antii]Vaillant, 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.
. Sed an proprie sit Valantiae species, nondum novi. GerberusGerber, Traugott (1710-1743).
German. Medical doctor, botanist,
director of the oldest botanical garden
in Moscow..
illam, ni fallor, ad Tanain etiam invenit.[3] Obtinui tandem pleraque, quae Tu mittenda promiseras una cum icone Gmelinae & Volckameriae. Gratias ago pro omnibus & singulis Tuis beneficiis. Rependam etiam, si occasio concedet. Flora Sibirica praelum subiit.[4] Folia alterius Claytoniae sunt oblonge elliptica, flos roseus. Nullus dubito, quin brevi & hanc & alias Tecum communicare possim plantas; non ingratus Tibi futurus. Faunam a bibliopego nondum accepi nec reliqua perlegere otium adhuc datum est.[5] Vix enim aliquot dies effluxere, quod accepi. Anandria[6] & sponsalia plantarum[7] & Musaeum Adolpho Friedericianum perquam placent.[8] Anandriam memini hic locorum monstrare licet. Magnum enim crimen habetur plantam Russicam alibi vulgandam concedere. Mitte, quaeso, nisi grave fuerit, exemplum Peloriae & algae & quarundam Lapponicarum rariorum plantarum specimina inter chartas siccata. Gratissimus omnia rependam. Sententiam de plantis reliquis avide expecto. Vale!

Dabam Petropoli d[ie] X Octobr[is] MDCCXLVI.

[address] A Monsieur / Monsieur le Docteur LINNAEUS / Professeur en histoire naturelle / à Upsal.

upSUMMARY

Johann Georg Gmelin congratulates Linnaeus on his return back from Westrogothia and on the discovery of the algal “flowers”.

Gmelin has confirmed the character of Ceratospermum. Linnaeus will soon receive seeds from it and some others, which he has finally got from Astrachan.

Johann Georg Siegesbeck asserts that he has germinated an Apozynum Astrachanense. But Gmelin does not know whether this is true, since he has not visited the Academy’s Garden at St Petersburg for two years. Gmelin wonders if such a species is known.

Johann Amman’s Pentaphylloides, p. 85, is a species of Sibbaldia.

Alsine no. 83, t. 10 is described. It has five ten-cleft petals, ten stamens, etc.

Gmelin knows nothing of Cymbaria except for what is known through Johann Amman’s description in Stirpium rariorum in imperio Rutheno sponte provenientium icones et descriptiones collectae.

Gmelin is considering calling Chamaejasme either Stelleria or Medusa; a detailed description follows.

Gmelin does not know more about Johann Christian Buxbaum’s plants than Linnaeus. Buxbaum never dried plants between sheets. Buxbaum called Kali a species of Ephedra or Salicornia; at least the seeds of Kali baccifer, tab. 18, are cochleata. Buxbaum was a skilled botanist, but rather incautious in writing precise observations and in drawing plants. An example of this is Lupinaster, whose drawing is wrong in respect of the legumes. Ceratocarpus has extremely hirsute leaves, which Buxbaum’s drawing misses.

Cucullaria belongs no doubt to the class of Sébastien Vaillant’s Rubiaceae. Whether it is a species of Valantia Gmelin does not know. Traugott Gerber found it at the Don.

Gmelin’s Flora Sibirica is being printed. He has not yet received Linnaeus’s Fauna Svecica. But he has Linnaeus’s Anandria, Sponsalia plantarum and Museum S:ae R:ae M:tis Adolphi Friderici Regis Suecorum.

It is a crime in Russia to export plants. Gmelin would like to have some dried specimens of Peloria, algae and some rare Laplandish plants.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, V, 40). [1] [2]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added above the line]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
See Linnaeus to Gmelin, 3 September 1746 o.s., 14 September 1746 n.s.Letter L0734. In 1747 Linnaeus published Wäst–göta–resaLinnaeus, Carl
Wäst-göta-resa på
riksens högloflige ständers
befallning förrättad år
1746. Med anmärkningar uti
oeconomien, naturkunnogheten,
antiquiteter, inwånarnes seder och
lefnads-sätt
(Stockholm 1747).
, which deals with his tour to Westrogothia in 1746.
2.
3.
The River Don.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.