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Link: • Clas Alströmer to Carl Linnaeus, 6 July 1761 n.s.
Dated 6 Julii 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
opens the letter with a reflection on how slow everything is in Spain. He is now planning his journey home through France and should greatly appreciate a letter of recommendation to Linnaeus’s friend in Montpellier. Alströmer has found Rhododendron max only in flower and not in seeds. He has asked friends in Cadiz to obtain seeds and shall later try to make them grow. Mercurialis annua will probably become androgynous if it is sown in dry soil; it mostly grows on walls and in stone fissures.

Alströmer has ordered seeds of Alstroemeria from Cadiz and states that when it comes to denomination he is not critical and accepts the honour Linnaeus bestowed on him.

Alströmer further says that Linnaeus’s letter — that he now is writing an answer to — was dated 28 March [this letter has not come down to us]. Such a long wait for a letter had made him anxious about Linnaeus’s well-being and may God save Linnaeus for many years to come.

Alströmer believes that Linnaeus has received a shipment containing seeds and herbs. Particularly a tree No.139 was of interest to Alströmer. The same shipment contained Tantalus loculator, Fulica atra and Charadrius Alexandrinus stuffed. He has also sent a box with economic collections, books and 94 wild and garden seeds but no herbs. Jonas Theodor FagraeusFagraeus, Jonas Theodor
(1729-1797). Swedish. Physician at
Alingsås. Correspondent of
can supply Linnaeus with whichever seeds he wants.

Alströmer has carefully examined Amaryllis lutea but always found it to be a fairly ordinary flower.

The hills of Granada were visited in October and few herbs were to be seen.

Alströmer hopes Pehr ForsskålForsskål, Peter
(1732-1763). Swedish. Naturalist and
explorer. Linnaeus’s student, professor
in Denmark in 1759. Joined a Danish
expedition to Egypt and Arabia in 1761.
Died at Jerîm, Arabia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
to be useful and wishes him all the best.

He has written to Daniel SolanderSolander, Daniel (1733-1782).
Swedish. Naturalist, explorer. Student
in Uppsala under Linnaeus and Johan
Gottschalk Wallerius. Went to London in
1760. Curator of natural history
collections at the British Museum.
Botanist on Cook’s first voyage
1768-1771. Joseph Bank’s librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
but so far not received any answer.

Alströmer has not yet seen the new Fauna Svecica, 2nd editionLinnaeus, Carl Fauna Svecica
sistens animalia Sveciae regni:
quadrupedia, aves, amphibia, pisces,
insecta, vermes, distributa per classes
& ordines, genera & species. Cum
differentiis specierum, synonymis
autorum, nominibus incolarum, locis
habitationum, descriptionibus
insectorum, 2nd edition
1761). Soulsby no. 1153.
edition but expects a copy when it has been completed.

He has heard from Linnaeus that Miss Camecker [Elisabeth Christina Låstbom] is engaged, but not to whom [she married Johan Låstbom].

He is looking forward to get the names of submitted herbs.

José CarbonelCarbonell, José
of Cadiz often writes and is eagerly longing for a letter from Linnaeus. Alströmer is afraid to lose the friendship of Carbonel unless he receives the books from Linnaeus promised by Alströmer. He now hopes that Linnaeus shall promptly order the books to be sent to the trading house Carlos & Claes Grill in Stockholm to be forwarded to Carbonel.

Carbonel has sent an entire branch with fruit of Arbor draconis. He does not yet know very much botany but he can at least collect seeds and natural specimens to be sent to Linnaeus. Linnaeus must write to encourage him and ensure him that the books will be sent.

Joseph Jodon Boijlesve, a doctor from Montpellier, has told Alströmer that a year ago he sent Linnaeus a letter and seeds but has not yet received any answer. He has asked Alströmer to enquire whether Linnaeus has got the letter or not.

Alströmer has sent some Platina del Pinto metal for Linnaeus at least to look at.

Miguel BarnadesBarnades, Miguel (?-1771).
Spanish. Botanist. Personal physician of
Carlos III, Madrid. Correspondent of
is the Spaniard best familiar with Linnaeus. Unfortunately, Alströmer has only spent 8 days with him, as he for the rest of the time has been travelling with his Patron, Duque de Alba.

In the Botanical Garden Alströmer has seen Scutellaria caule erecto, racemis terminalibus, erectis, interruptis; floribus solitariis opposites, secundis; foliis petiolatis, ovato-cordatis, serratis acutis. As far as he understands, it is not compatible with any of Linnaeus’s species; it is American.

In Aranjuez Taurus bubalis is used as a draught animal.

José Quer y MartinezQuer y Martinez, José
(1695-1764). Spanish. Professor of
Botany, Madrid.
has promised him seeds.

Alströmer has collected seeds of Vella PseudoCytisus and expects to meet with the third vol. of the System [Alströmer refers to the Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
; the 10th edition was published in two volumes, “Animalia” 1758 and “Vegetabilia” 1759. The third volume, “Mineralia” was never published].


a. (LS, I, 78-81). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 44-47   p.44  p.45  p.46  p.47.