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Link: • Clas Alströmer to Carl Linnaeus, 16 February 1761 n.s.
Dated 16 Februari 1761. Sent from Madrid (Spain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


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
reports having learned from a French newspaper of the honour recently conferred on Linnaeus on account of “Sexuum plantarum” [Alströmer refers to the dissertation submitted to the Imperial Academy of Sciences of St Petersburg, Imperatorskaja akademija naukImperatorskaja akademija nauk,
Imperial Academy of Sciences

Russian. Imperial Academy of Sciences of
St Petersburg, founded in 1725. Its
publications are Commentarii
Academiae Scientiarum Imperialis
, 1-14 (1726 -
1744/1746 [i.e. pub. 1728 - 1751]) and
Novi Commentarii Academiae
Scientiarum Imperialis
, 1-20 (1747/1748 -
1775 [i.e. pub. 1750 - 1776]).
, Disquisitio de quaestione ab Academia Imperiali Scientiarum Petropol. in annum 1759, pro praemio proposita: Sexum Plantarum argumentis et experimentis novisLinnaeus, Carl Disquisitio de
quaestione ab Academia Imperiali
Scientiarum Petropol. in annum 1759, pro
praemio proposita: Sexum Plantarum
argumentis et experimentis novis,
praeter adhuc jam cognita, vel
corroborare, vel impugnare,
præmissa expositione historica et
physica omnium plantae partium, quae
aliquid ad faecundationem et
perfectionem seminis et fructus conferre
creduntur, ab eadem Academia [...]
praemio ornata
(St. Petersburg,
1760). Soulsby no. 2115.
]. Alströmer has received a letter from Linnaeus [this letter has not come down to us], which, although it is undated, must have been written before Christmas as Linnaeus there says that Alströmer’s brother Patrick AlströmerAlströmer, Patrick
(1733-1804). Swedish. Baron and
industrialist, Alingsås. Director
of the Swedish East India Company. Son
of Jonas Alströmer, brother of
August, Clas and Johan Alströmer.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is expected to arrive in Uppsala for [Christmas] holidays.

He writes modestly of his own achievements but reveals a hierarchical attitude to plants that he has annotated in Carl Alexander Clerck’sClerck, Carl Alexander
(1709-1765). Swedish. Entomologist.
Assessor in Stockholm. Correspondent of
evidently numbered catalogue [Alströmer refers to the Nomenclator extemporaneus rerum naturaliumClerck, Carl Alexander
Nomenclator extemporaneus rerum
naturalium: plantarum, insectorum,
conchyliorum, secundum systema naturae
(Stockholm, 1759).

25 schoenus mucronatus growing in fine sand had long tough roots. 70 is Allium triquetrum and grew by shady springs. Despite his modesty, Alströmer is concerned lest his appreciated commemoration of his name by Linnaeus in a species designated as Alstroemia might, unless Linnaeus were to decide to change this designation to Alstroemeria or Alstroemera, be supposed erroneously to commemorate the common name Alström. He comments also on a muddled origin of some seeds involving himself, some acquaintances in Cadiz and Fredrik LogieLogie, Fredrik (1739-1785).
Swedish. Studied under Linnaeus in
Uppsala. Army officer. Forwarded to
Linnaeus the natural history specimens
sent by his brother Alexander from
Algier. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. His brother August AlströmerAlströmer, August
(1735-1767). Swedish. Merchant,
Gothenburg. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of Clas, Johan and Patrick
should be sent a drawing of Alstroemeria to inspect and return. Alströmer also suggests that Linnaeus could use his brother in the future for postal arrents. 78 Frankenia laevis that he has often examined has some filamenta coalita in cylindrum of which some, being firm, could not except on one specimen with newly opened flowers be separated without causing damage. 95, having at first been thought to be Rhododendron maximum may be a Receptaculum Corollae with some unremarkable points that ought to be called Calyx. It grew in Andalusia, between Cadiz and Gibraltar in uncultivated land alongside streams among Alnus, Nerium & etc, and was very beautiful with large flowers. 6 must be Drosera Lusitanica, but as Alströmer will go on oath for his description, Linnaeus may rely on it. He was delighted to see it among Cisti on high dry hills. 129 and 130 seemed not to differ except that the former grew in umbrosis and was pallidus, while the latter was in apricis solidor, minus fragilis & purpureus. This applies also to 131 and 132. 133 non semper ramose that is easily observed of this plant that often grows in clumps with unbranching stems. 146 Bunias kakile is succulent although growing in the finest sand together with Euphorbia Paralias. 149 is said by Linnaeus to be Biscutella didyma although this name is that of 148, while 149 is fruticosa and radice perenni supra terram elevate. 150 Cheiranthus fruticosus on the driest sand dunes in pine woods. 168-170 incl., having as to name and/or number been incorrectly written by Linnaeus are requested anew. Alströmer had not sent 168, while 170 must be Ornithopus compressus, which name Linnaeus gave to 168. Perhaps 215 and 216 are the same; the whole facies, when they grow, seems to differ. Alströmer found 223 is Mormordica Elaterium on account of its squirting fruit, but that it should be Dioica confused him at first. Despite much effort he has not found an androgynum specimen but has collected seeds. 229 Fucus Sargazo had been found on the beach at Gibraltar. 232 Fucus pavonius found by Alströmer was gradatim petrified and like a Lithophyton. Linnaeus is assured that he may convince himself of this by asking Jonas Theodor FagraeusFagraeus, Jonas Theodor
(1729-1797). Swedish. Physician at
Alingsås. Correspondent of
for all the specimens Alströmer sent under this number, as well as those among the corals under number 10. 233 was found to be Daphne Gnidium as Alströmer unforgettably tasted it. 234 Smilax aspera could not be obtained in flower, but Alströmer saw it with fruit. Maybe 236 and 237 are the same plants? 240 is too small to be Gentiana perfoliata that Alströmer has seen in a herbarium in Madrid. Believing 243 not to be Valentia hispida, Alströmer will acquire or commission seeds; those he has already sent may include some. Fagraeus should be able to acquire seeds of Atractylis cancellata from the many specimens sent home by Alströmer. Seeds of Genista tridentate are probably among the unknown seeds he sent home.

He is pleased to hear of Daniel Annerstedt’sAnnerstedt, Daniel (1721-1771).
Swedish. Professor of theology,
academic appointment; he intends to teach him Spanish on his return.

José Ortega’sOrtega, José (?-1761).
Spanish. Military pharmacist of the
Spanish army. Secretary of the Academy
of Medicine of Madrid. Correspondent of
death has already been reported. Pehr Löfling’sLöfling, 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.
collections are still in obscurity. Linnaeus should write to José Celestino MútisMútis, José Celestino
(1732-1808). Spanish. Botanist.
Went to South America in 1760 and lived
in Bogotá, which due to him
became an important centre of learning.
His comprehensive herbarium, manuscripts
and numerous watercolour botanical
illustrations were sent to Spain after
his death. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
c/o 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.
in Cadiz.

Alströmer hopes an Amaryllis sent to Linnaeus from Stockholm has not frozen on the way.

When Daniel ScheidenburgScheidenburg, Daniel (1720-?).
Swedish. Clergyman. Studied under
Linnaeus. Chaplain at the Swedish
legation in Madrid. Copied Pehr
Löfling’s manuscripts.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in Paris reaches Sweden in the autumn he can speak of his fate.

Being pleased that two shipments have arrived, Alströmer hopes the third, sailed by Anders LundströmLundström, Anders
Swedish. Sea-Captain.
who went from Cadiz on the 7th of November, has also arrived: its two packages contain 146 plants and 27 sorts of seeds numbered and prefixed A to distinguish them from any later listing; the A-list seeds may include some for Atractylis cancellata.

A list of a further shipment to Stockholm of 85 sorts of seeds but no plants can be got from Fagraeus. This was sent a few days ago on a ship from Cadiz with Jacob ÅkermanÅkerman, Jacob Swedish.
to Stockholm. No. 40 includes berries of Schinus Areira collected in Granada; perhaps under this number, the shipment includes some Amaryllis lutea bulbs; the plant is as Löfling observed.

The above-mentioned third shipment includes the stuffed specimens of Tantalus Loculator, Fulica atra and Chardrius alexandrinus.

The shipment to Stockholm includes a racemes fructiferus of Arbor Draconis from José CarbonellCarbonell, José

Alströmer has yet other plants, including some from the hills around Granada, to be despatched later.

In conclusion he mentions the platina del pinto he has acquired may be included in Linnaeus’s "Mineral System". [Alströmer presumably refers to Linnaeus’s work with the mineralogy part of the Systema naturae; the Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
, was published in two volumes, “Animalia” 1758 and “Vegetabilia” 1759. The third volume, “Mineralia” was never published, but in the next edition, the Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
which was published in 1768, the ”Regnum lapideum” was published in vol. 3].


a. (LS, I, 74-77). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 40-43   p.40  p.41  p.42  p.43.