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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L0786 • Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch to Carl Linnaeus, 28 February 1747 n.s.
Dated primo Calend. Martii MDCCCXLVII. Sent from Berlin (Germany) to (). Written in Latin.

Viro Illustri,
D[omino] D[octori] Carolo Linnaeo,
Botanico Summo,
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
J[ohannes] G[ottlieb] Gleditsch.

Variis negotiis hactenus detentus ad fautores literas dare non potui. Specialissimo enim Regis decreto curam publicam per Marchias tres[1] in me suscepi morbi cujusdam epidemici, maligni et contagiosi, qui sub febris acutae inflammatoriae facie in tractibus Havellae, Viadro [sic] et Spreae[2] proximis praesertim grassans bovilium genus infestavit. Noctes diesque plures consumsi praecipue in palustribus et humectatis locis non sine emolumento.

Semina proxime mittam, quae potero, per Illustriss[imum] Com[item] d[ominum]Gyllenborg, Henning Adolph
(1713-1775). Swedish. Count,
councillor. Student at Uppsala and
member of the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Gyllenbourg[um] et alia elegantissima Suecana a Te exspecto v[erbi] gr[atia] Dryas, Betula nana, Diapensia, praesertim si vel genera nova vel species noviter detectae! Anandria NB.[3]

Calidissimo praecedentis anni aestu rarissimae et potiores exoticae plantae floruerunt in horto et semina tulerunt, v[erbi] gr[atia] Guajava alba dulcis, Sideroxylon, Petiveria, Cereus angulosus, NB.,[a][a] : MS1 [added in the margin] peruvianus major cum floribus 44 inaudito exemplo [b][b] : MS1 [added in the margin] in nostro duriori climate[b][b] : MS1 [added in the margin] caule nempe ab imo ad summum floribus onusto, nec non Cordia, Zanonia foemina, Tarchonanthus, etc.

Dissertationes omnes transmissae per D[omi]n[um] BergenBergen, Carl August von
(1704-1759). German. Doctor of
medicine. Professor of botany and
anatomy, later of pathology and therapy,
Frankfurt/Oder. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
admodum placent. Decies perlegi non sine voluptate ad Anandriam. Responsum Botanosophi illius Petropolitani valde exopto.

Cum omnes, quibus veritas placet et studium in naturali scientia et quibus merita Tua curae cordique sunt, Te jam pridem omni honore et praemio dignissimum iudicaverint, non est, cur Academiae Regiae pro[c][c] : MS1 [added above the line] receptione in numerum membrorum grates referas singulares. Tui enim nominis et meritorum studiosissimi sumus.[4]

De noviter detectis plantarum generibus 40 vehementer gaudeo, ut et de Flora Gmeliniana Sibirica quam proxime proditura.[5]

Academiae Regiae Scientiarum observationem praelegi de Musco in plantarum cultura humi vices sustinente.

Experimenta trium annorum spatio ad finem perduxi. Sed cum curiosissima sunt et plura et nova semper, hodie adhuc variarum plantarum centurias tres in museo toto anno cultas servo. Optime succedunt experimenta in omnibus[d][d] : MS1 MS1 <omni> omnibus herbarum, arborum, florum, fruticum, olerum, immo exoticarum plantarum speciebus, etiam spongiosis et succulentis ut Mesembryanthemo, Cacto, Sempervivo, Crassula, etc. Hydrophyllacea compendiosissima in vasis lapideis constituit muscus humectatus, quae in hortis medicis (ut plurimum minus spatiosis) commode applicari possunt et hujus beneficio Drossera, Pyrola[e][e] : MS1 [added in the margin] et plures e palustribus et Algis servantur, quae alias culturam in hortis omnem ferme eludere videntur.

Circa Filicum fructificationes nova quaedam observata StaehelinoStähelin, Benedikt
(1695-1750). Swiss. Botanist. Studied
under Sébastien Vaillant and
Albrecht von Haller, professor of
physics in Basle.
acutissimo misi, Tibi, Amice Clarissime, proxima occasione communicanda. Doleo tamen defectum Filicum Americae vel saltim Europae meridionalis et occidentalis.

Specimen Methodi Fungorum conscripsi speciebus et varietatibus illustratum 12 annorum[f][f] : MS1 <abhinc> annorum spatio in Thuringia, Marchia et Misnia observatis, quod proxima aestate fortasse WischofiiWishoff, Conrad (?-?). Dutch.
Publisher in Leiden 1710-1750. Wishoff
published Classes plantarum and
Genera plantarum by Linnaeus as
well as Pehr Artedi’s
Ichtyologia. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
sumptibus[g][g] : MS1 <[illegible]>
sumptibus
praelo subjiciam.[6] Genera Tibi debeo, fructificationes MichelioMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
cryptogames.
. Omnia oculo armato perlustravi, genera retinui, praeter Hydnum, et varietates, quantum potui, speciebus inserui.

Acad[emiae] Reg[iae] Jussu Osteocollae examen suscepi in Marchia Electorali et nova, cujus enarrationem sequenti anno in actis invenies.[7] Plura interim penes auctores passim leguntur de Lapide sic dicto fabuloso vana, falsa et ridicula, plura concreta et incrustata. Cum vera Osteocolla male confunduntur v[erbi] gr[atia] varia salina, tophacea, selenitica et stalactitea tubulosa, sabulosa, argillacea immo et metallica ipsa. Male judicatur fossile nostrum e fragmentis sabulo sparsim incumbentibus et extra locum formationis suae a tempestatis injuria immutatis, vitiatis et corruptis.

Marchiae loca sabulosa ubique ferme materia calcaria tenuissima sabulo mixta abundant. Loca ista quoque plurium arborum excisarum Pini scilicet et Quercus truncos et radices sub tenui arena altius sepultos fovent. Trunci temporis tractu perpetuo humidi affluxu putrefacti, cariosi facti et excavati sensim sensimque quasi colliquescunt. Horum cavitates formam largiuntur fossili nostro naturali ex asse simillimam, [h][h] : MS1 <quae> cujus materia
[added in the margin]
cujus materia[h][h] : MS1 <quae> cujus materia
[added in the margin]
aquis soluta per loca cariosa truncum facile subintrat, ad radices usque descendit et tandem omne cavum prorsus implet. Satis superque docent ligni, corticis, nervorum et contextus cellulosi fragmenta, quae vel amplectuntur fossilis ramenta arctius vel centrum constituunt. Illustrant arborum trunci emortui penitus cavi, salva de cetero facie externa, quae in excursionibus botanicis non raro observantur. Hinc Osteocolla vera nostra Marchica est vera terra subtilissima, calcaria et[i][i] : MS1 [added in the margin] arenosa, quae arboris detruncatae et emortuae radicem aquae beneficio implevit et intra cavum ejusdem acidum ligni putrescentis liquamen recepit. Quid obstat igitur, quominus Osteocollam artificialem formemus vel cur non? Patet ex his procul dubio loci, situs, magnitudinis, numeri, figurae et proportionis naturalis constantia. Radicis portionem in tabula exprimit non adeo male Masslographia Hermanniana.[8]

Vale, Amice Illustris, et me amare perge!

Berolini.[j][j] : MS1 [added in the margin] Dabam primo Calend[is] Martii MDCCXLVII.

upSUMMARY

Johann Gottlieb Gleditsch is in charge of public actions in the three Mark to cure a contagious fever affecting the cattle in the areas around the rivers Havel, Oder and Spree.

He will soon send seeds with Henning Adolf Gyllenborg. In return he asks for Dryas, Betula nana, Diapensia and especially Anandria. Owing to the heat last year many exotic flowers have blossomed and given seeds, e.g., Guajava alba dulcis, Sideroxylon, Petiveria, Cereus angulosus peruvianus major with 44 flowers, Cordia, Zanonia foemina Tarchonanthus, etc.

Gleditsch is grateful for the dissertations that Linnaeus has sent through Carl August von Bergen, especially the one on Anandria. He is looking forward to the answer by Johann Georg Siegesbeck.

Gleditsch is happy about the forty genera recently detected and for Johann Georg Gmelin’s Flora Sibirica, soon to be published.

He has read the observation by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences regarding moss on substrate. Gleditsch has been successful with his experiments on herbs, trees, flowers, etc., and also with the exotic plants as Mesembryanthemum, Cactus, Sempervivum and Crassula. He has sent his new observations on the fructifications of ferns to Benedikt Stähelin.

Gleditsch has written a dissertation on the method on fungi illustrated with species and varieties; it is based on twelve years of work in Thuringia and Meissen, and will perhaps be published next year. Gleditsch owes the genera to Linnaeus and the fructifications to Pietro Antonio Micheli. Everything was studied with a microscope. He kept the genera except Hydnum and inserted the varieties in the species the best he could.

At the request of the Royal Academy Gleditsch has investigated the osteocolla in Brandenburg. Many false and ridiculous things have been written about this legendary stone. The true osteocolla is confused with various kinds of salt, tufa, chrystall, sand, clay even metal, etc. The fossils are hard to judge. The fragments are in the sand and destroyed by time and weather.

The county of Brandenburg is full of hollow trunks and roots of Pine-trees and oaks. The trunks are rotten and practically liquefied. The true osteocolla of Brandenburg is chalky and sandy clay, which penetrates the rotten trunks and fills them up as the wood rottens. The clay gets the same form and structure as the original root. Thus the osteocolla can be made artificially. In an engraving Hermann shows a portion of the root.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (LS, IV, 508-509). [1] [2] [3]

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
MS1 [added in the margin]
b.
MS1 [added in the margin]
c.
MS1 [added above the line]
d.
MS1 MS1 <omni> omnibus
e.
MS1 [added in the margin]
f.
MS1 <abhinc> annorum
g.
MS1 <[illegible]> sumptibus
h.
MS1 <quae> cujus materia [added in the margin]
i.
MS1 [added in the margin]
j.
MS1 [added in the margin]

upEXPLANATORY NOTES

1.
I.e., Mittelmark, Ukermark and Neumark.
2.
I.e., the rivers Havel, Oder and Spree.
3.
New events which increased the antagonism between Linnaeus and Johann Georg SiegesbeckSiegesbeck, 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.
(see this correspondence) happened all the time. In the beginning of the 1740’s Russian botanists had discovered a strange composite plant in Siberia. This was said to be without stamens and was consequently named Anandria. Siegesbeck rejoiced. He thought that he finally had found a fundamental piece of evidence against Linnaeus’s sexual system, which stated that plants only could reproduce themselves through stamens and pistils. But Linnaeus was convinced that this simply could not be the case. On 9 August 1745 o.s., 20 August 1745 n.s.Letter L0643, Gmelin writes to Linnaeus that he impatiently looks forward to hear what Linnaeus will think of the Anandria Sigesbeckioides. When Sten Carl 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.
travelled in Russia he was constantly urged to try to get hold of some seeds of Anandria. Eventually he succeeded and the seeds were immediately forwarded to Uppsala. To begin with Linnaeus could not make them blossom, but when they finally did so he was certain of his diagnosis. In Dissertatio botanica de AnandriaLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
Botanica de Anandria
, diss., resp.
E. Z. Tursén (Uppsala 1745).
Soulsby no. 1434.
(1745) Linnaeus settles his account with Siegesbeck. The plant definitely had stamens, though difficult to see, and was found to belong to the genus of Tussilago. See Jönsson, “Odium botanicorum. The polemics between Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg Siegesbeck”Jönsson, A.-M. Odium
botanicorum
. The polemics between
Carl Linnaeus and Johann Georg
Siegesbeck”, Språkets
speglingar. Festskrift till Birger
Bergh
, ed. A. Jönsson & A.
Piltz (Lund 2000), 555-566.
.
4.
Linnaeus became a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg in 1754.
5.
6.
7.
Osteocolla is a deposit of carbonate of lime forming an incrustation on the roots and stems of plants; it is found in sandy ground. It is also called “glue-bone” and recommended by the pharmacologists as an absorbent and conglutinator of broken bones.
8.