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Link: • Clas Alströmer to Carl Linnaeus, 10 June 1760 n.s.
Dated 10 Junii 1760. Sent from Cadiz (Spain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Writing after a fourteen-day stay in Gibraltar, with travel there and back taking a further nine days, Clas AlströmerAlströmer, Clas
(1736-1794). Swedish. Baron,
industrialist. Sent plants and specimens
to Linnaeus from his travels abroad.
Bought Linnaeus’s “little herbarium”,
now in the Natural History Museum in
Stockholm. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of August, Johan and Patrick
Alströmer. Correspondent of
comments unfavourably on Spanish roads, cost of horses, roadside accommodation, mockery endured by at least one foreigner, and heat. Of Gibraltar he mentions no person but only the presence of Simia sylvanus wild on the Rock and tamed in the town. On the road and in Gibraltar he collected specimens of which some are unknown; he will send them, numbered, as soon as possible to Linnaeus whom he asks to give as promised the names to be assigned to those he has retained. He has seldom time to examine living plants and has become more aware in foreign parts than at home of his deficient knowledge. Panorpa coa abounds in loose sand at Gibraltar. Scarcely noticeable Alea erecta and forceps ani imply this insect is an Ephemera or, on account of the proportions of its wings, of a novel Genus. Fredrik HasselquistHasselquist, Fredrik
(1722-1752). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist, explorer. Studied under
Linnaeus and Lars Roberg 1741-1749. Went
to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus,
Rhodes and the island of Chios. Died
near Smyrna. Son of Magnus and Helena
Maria Hasselquist, brother of Andreas
Hasselquist. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
’s descriptio alarum states ab apice ultra medium lineares that should be e basi ultra medium lineares; this description is otherwise apposite excepting a slight difference in the colour of the posterior wings. He has seen a Parus major at Cadiz, a species he has never seen in Sweden in summer.

Asked about the utility of his Caprificus, a gardener in Cadiz told him its Flores masculini turn into small flies that enter figs and, by stinging them, give them their taste and prevent them falling off the tree. Another man in Cadiz told Alströmer that, in Italy where he had travelled, a drop of oil introduced into a fig hastened its ripening. The writer has seen some Swedish trees including Pop. Alba, Ulmus and Alen; the latter always occurs together with Nerium oleander in and beside water. The scent of Lilium candidum on the Rock of Gibraltar is beautiful.

Two descriptions of plants that Linnaeus would know better than the writer, who can find neither in The System [Alströmer refers to the Systema naturae], are enclosed for the second time. The first is a bush with fine flowers occurring in a few places by streams in Andalusia.

The other is a peculiar plant, unknown to the writer, which grows on the bare hills between Gibraltar and Medina.

The writer begs information about them from Linnaeus. A collection of snails he saw at Gibraltar included an Argonauta eight inches long and five high, and a Scarabeus Hercules from the West Indies. Mercurialis annua grows to excess on walls in Gibraltar. The writer never found any foemina that lacked male flowers, but not in its racemes, and all mares had some female flowers; he needs more time to observe whether they are fertile or not. Mares are fewer than feminae. Parietaria Judaica often has four or six flores hermaphroditi in a calyce communi, of which the foliola then exceed six, but more are Cal. Com, 6 phyll. Continens 2 flores hermaphroditi unumque intermed femineum. Before pollination, antherae are contained in the filaments that are spiraliter involuta like the main spring of a watch. When the writer touched one with the point of a mail, it sprang up like such a spring, cracking both in anthera and expelling all pollen. The writer does not know whether this peculiar means of pollination has been observed previously. He has found Figura foliorum on a species of Cotyledonis to be very mutable so that differentia seems to be taken from some other plant. The fruit of Solanum lycopersicon, Hisp. tomates, elaborately prepared, is much eaten here as a sauce with meat. Boiling dissipates its unspecified undesirable qualities and leaves a pleasantly acid juice.

The most common Spanish flavourings are Capiscum and garlic. The common-people’s food eaten by Alströmer seared his throat, causing him to think this “awful pepper” causes the guttural pronunciation of Spanish. The day before writing the foregoing he visited the Cadiz Royal Hospital, its garden, library, and medical and natural-history collections, having met Josepho BejalBejal, Josepho Spanish. , deputy to Pedro VirgiliVirgili, Pedro (1699-1776).
Spanish. Surgeon. Founder of the Royal
College of Surgery (Real Colegio de
Cirugía) in Cádiz in 1748.
, the director, who was absent in Madrid. When the former showed him Impatiens balsamina and alleged its absence from the literature, Alströmer called this “a proof of his profound insight”. The qualitates and vires of the garden’s plants are known only as being allegedly curative individually of certain diseases. Having seen a living Mus monax from America, the writer says he will later examine it more closely. The Franciscans have promised him unrestricted access to their garden that contains an Arbor draconis. He saw a Fungue melitensis in the hospital garden and hopes to acquire a specimen. Melianthus flowers in Cadiz.

He has seen the mature Pericarpium of Peregrinas de Lima. Having collected innumerable seeds, he will send them from Madrid and encloses a commissioned drawing of Peregrinas de Lima.

José CarbonellCarbonell, José
, of the Admiralty school in Cadiz, a collector of natural-history specimens who has helped Claes GrillGrill, Claes (1705-1767).
Swedish. Merchant, owner of the iron
works of Söderfors, Österby
and Iggesund. Director of the Swedish
East India Company. Also known as an art
collector and patron of arts and
sciences. Brother of Anthoni Grill and
Johan Abraham Grill. Correspondent of
in Stockholm and Alströmer, and promises to help Linnaeus, has asked for help in acquiring his works, specifically Naturae curiosorum Disocoridis secundi Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Naturae
curiosorum Disocoridis secundi Systema
naturae in quo naturae regna tria
secundum classes, ordines, genera,
species systematice proponuntur
, 2nd
edition (Stockholm, 1740). Soulsby no.
, Philosophia botanica Linnaeus, Carl Philosophia
botanica, in qua explicantur fundamenta
botanica cum definitionibus partium,
(Stockholm 1751). Soulsby no.
, Critica botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Critica
botanica, in qua nomina plantarum
generica, specifica & variantia
examini subjiciuntur, selectiora
confirmantur, indigna rejiciuntur;
simulque doctrina circa denominationem
plantarum traditur. Seu Fundamentorum
botanicorum pars IV. Accedit J.
Browallii De necessitate historiae
naturalis discursus
(Leiden 1737).
, Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
, Bibliotheca botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica recensens libros plus mille de
plantis huc usque editos, secundum
systema auctorum naturale in classes,
ordines, genera & species
dispositos, additis editionis loco,
tempore, forma, lingua etc. cum
explicatione Fundamentorum botanicorum
pars prima
(Amsterdam 1736).
, Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 480.
, Amoenitates academicae Linnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
, I-X (Stockholm
1749-1790). Soulsby no. 1280.
. Alströmer asks Linnaeus to send them as soon as possible to Jacob Martin BellmanBellman, Jacob Martin
(1706-1786). Swedish. Merchant, Cadiz.
Swedish consul there 1742-1766. His
brother´s son was the author Carl
Michaël Bellman.
who can arrange payment; he has found many Cancer Diogenes among shellfish on the beach at Algeziras.

Statice sinuate occurs in and outside the Cadiz hospital garden. Virgili, having called Polygonum maritimum Fabago or Fabagoides, good-naturedly let himself be corrected. Cardiospermi character compendiosus in The System ought to be amended from Calyx triphyllus to tetraphyllus, and when that be done it will resemble sapindi character, if Nectaria cardiospermi not be added. This error and the absence of fruit caused Alströmer today almost to fail to recognise Cardiospermum and could inform Virgili about this. Caracter is also erroneous in Genera plantarum. There are innumerable Gerania here, as well as rapaceum and Plumbago Europea.

Alströmer recurs to the heat that causes plants specimens rapidly to wilt and is said locally to have contributed, together with over-activity, to Pehr Löfling’s Löfling, Pehr (1729-1756).
Swedish. Botanist and explorer. Studied
under Linnaeus. Went to Spain in 1751
and took part in the Spanish expedition
to Venezuela in 1754, where he died.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
fate and to have caused the death of a Spanish botanist. He admits to finding an extensive correspondence troublesome on his travels. He greets his friends, including Magister Bergman [Torbern BergmanBergman, Torbern (1735-1784).
Swedish. Professor of chemistry,
metallurgy and pharmacy at Uppsala.
Linnaeus’s student. Correspondent of
], and sends his respects to Linnaeus’s wife[Sara Elisabet LinnaeaMoraea, Sara Elisabet
(1716-1806). Swedish. Linnaeus’s wife.
Daughter of Johan Moraeus and Elisabet
Hansdotter Moraea. Mother of Carl
Linnaeus the Younger and of Elisabeth
Christina, Louisa, Sara Christina and
Sophia Linnaea.
] and daughters [Elisabeth Christina LinnaeaBergencrantz, Elisabeth Christina
(1743-1782). Swedish. Daughter of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Sister of Carl Linnaeus the Younger and
of Louisa, Sara Christina and Sophia
Linnaea. Married to Carl Fredrik
Bergencrantz.Mother of Sara Elisabeth
, Louisa LinnaeaLinnaea, Louisa (1749-1839).
Swedish. Daughter of Carl Linnaeus and
Sara Elisabet Linnaea. Sister of Carl
Linnaeus the Younger and of Elisabeth
Christina, Sara Christina and Sophia
, Sara Christina LinnaeaLinnaea, Sara Christina
(1751-1835). Swedish. Daughter of Carl
Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Sister of Carl Linnaeus the Younger and
of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa and
Sophia Linnaea.
, Sophia LinnaeaLinnaea, Sophia (1757-1830).
Swedish. Daughter of Carl Linnaeus and
Sara Elisabet Linnaea. Sister of Carl
Linnaeus the Younger and of Elisabeth
Christina, Louisa and Sara Christina
Linnaea. Wife of Samuel Christoffer
], and to Carl Linnaeus the YoungerLinnaeus the Younger, Carl
(1741-1783). Swedish. Botanist. Son of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Brother of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa,
Sara Christina and Sophia Linnaea.
Attended his father’s lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeus’s
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his


a. (LS, I, 61-63). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 24-29   p.24  p.25  p.26  p.27  p.28  p.29.