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Link: • Clas Alströmer to Carl Linnaeus, 29 May 1762 n.s.
Dated 29 Maji 1762. Sent from Firenze (Italia) 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
is very late with answering to Linnaeus undated and unsigned letter [this letter has not come down to us], which he received when still in Rome. very eloquently expresses his annoyance about the mishandling during transportation of all the botanical and zoological specimens and samples he has taken the trouble to collect, organise and pack, before sending them to Linnaeus. It seems as if Linnaeus should have replied with a list of the names of the specimens, but in Alströmer’s view the plants [in Linnaeus’s list] are in great disorder and do not correspond to the numbers Alströmer has given to the copies he kept by himself. Most curious is, that he finds some plants, which he has not sent, and a great number of plants are gone! He wants Linnaeus to find out what ahs happened to the collection he sent, so that Alströmer, he adds ironically, knows how he should be grateful to. He suggests that a copy of the new edition of Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1762-1763).
Soulsby no. 500.
should be sent to him, addressed to either the Swedish Embassy ther,e or to his banker Tourton & Baur in Paris, but not with the post. He also wants 20 or 30 copies of the dissertation Planta AlströmeriaLinnaeus, Carl Planta
, diss., resp. J.
P. Falck (Uppsala [1762])
. His brother August AlströmerAlströmer, August
(1735-1767). Swedish. Merchant,
Gothenburg. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of Clas, Johan and Patrick
will meet the cost.

He is also irritated that the seeds from the hills of Granada should have been spoilt. However he does not trust the Water test. To the contrary, several years ago he had sowed floating acorns, hazelnuts, beans, peas, turnip seeds and others, of which some had grown as well as the sinking ones.

Alströmer has sent a number of fish, and to facilitate for Linnaeus to examine these the best would be that Linnaeus order the whole jar [with fish] to be sent to Örebro, and from there seaway to Stockholm or Uppsala. Linnaeus is welcome to take what he wants as the large jar contains several pairs. The shells and the corals etc Alströmer will communicate himself at his return to Sweden.

He has handed out all his Alstroemiae seeds. He does not know whether it is annual or perennial but he inclines towards annual.

He is pleased by Petter Jonas Bergius’sBergius, Petter Jonas
(1730-1790). Swedish. Physician and
botanist. Professor of natural history
and pharmacy at Collegium Medicum,
Stockholm. Linnaeus’s student.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
promotion but would have preferred Jonas Theodor FagraeusFagraeus, Jonas Theodor
(1729-1797). Swedish. Physician at
Alingsås. Correspondent of

Alströmer agrees with Linnaeus that the would-be Bulbocodium is probably a Crocus even if the Stigma indicates something else. He says that Giovanni Francesco MarattiMaratti, Giovanni Francesco
(-1777). Italian. Professor of botany,
in Rome wants to make a new genus called Romulia always with 6 stamens. Alströmer has tried to make him understand that two specimens alone do not make a new genus.

Valisneria is not to be seen around Florence but can be found at Pisa.

Phytolacca dioica are used as avenue trees in Sevilla. Only one female tree was to be found at Portmarie. The tree was large so Alströmer does not know the number of stamens. In his letter of 23 July Letter L2924 he had sent a whole raceme of the ripe fruit and wants to know if it has arrived.

As a Linnaean, Alströmer is well received. Linnaeus is of course famous, but not because of his true merits, because people don’t know of Linnaeus’s scientific work of which they are badly supplied. Linnaeus should see to it that his writings were distributed. Alströmer has to fight many a joust in the Society of Botany of Florence into which he has been elected as member. The worst thing is to have to repeat what Linnaeus clearly has laid out in 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).
as well as in Philosophia botanica Linnaeus, Carl Philosophia
botanica, in qua explicantur fundamenta
botanica cum definitionibus partium,
(Stockholm 1751). Soulsby no.

He has little time to visit this most interesting country, so rich in biological and other sights and monuments.

Alströmer has met with Giovanni TargioniTargioni-Tozzetti, Giovanni Battista
Italian. Disciple of Pietro
Antonio Micheli, father of Ottaviano
, a learned man, who has published Pietro Antonio Micheli’sMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
, Hortus Florentinus [Alströmer means the Catalogus plantarumMicheli, Pietro Antonio
Catalogus plantarum horti caesarei
Florentini opus postumum, iussu
societatis botanicae editum,
continuatum, et ipsius horti historia
locupletatum ab Io. Targioni
(Florence 1748).
]. He has bought the entire Micheli’s collection of plants, and many manuscripts including drawings and already engraved copper plates. Alströmer has also seen a peculiarity of Targioni’s: the skeleton of a crane. Targioni also has petrified bones and teeth from elephants.

Big Gleditsia inermis trees are also to be found here. The Florentines were ignorant and thought them to be an Acacia, until Alströmer informed them about the truth.

Alströmer is sending Mandragorae semina, Platanus, Romulia? also a few seeds of a Pulmonaria? gnota, that has certain resemblance of a Cerinthe.

Alströmer also writes that he has sent a bunch of unsorted plants from Rome. He asks Linnaeus to go through them and save them for him until he has returned, because Alströmer has had no time to sort them or sort out duplicates. If Linnaeus permits, Alströmer in the future would like to send all specimens in this way.

Alströmer has collected stones from Vesuvius and other volcanoes around Naples.He wants to know if the third volume of the Systema naturae, Regnum Minerale, has been published already, or, if not, when it is to be printed [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].

He has roughly the same questions about Systema morburum [Alströmer means the dissertation, Genera morborumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
morborum, diss., resp. J.
(Uppsala 1759).
Soulsby no. 1762.
, with a new edition in 1763, Genera morborumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
morborum, in auditorum usum edita

(Uppsala 1763). Soulsby no. 979.
and he wants to know how many volumes of Amoenitates academicae Linnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
, I-X (Stockholm
1749-1790). Soulsby no. 1280.
have been published.

If the new edition of 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.
is ready, Alströmer wants a copy.

How far has the new edition of Species proceeded [Alströmer means the Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1762-1763).
Soulsby no. 500.

The Italians are too idle and publish very little.

His address will from now on be Tourton & Baur in Paris.

Domenico Maria Leone CirilloCirillo, Domenico Maria Leone
(1739-1799). Italian. Physician and
naturalist, Naples. Correspondent of
has got Linnaeus’s address and has been asked to write.

Alströmer shall now go to Bologna and then Venice.

Lupinus albus is cultivated in Italy. Young boys and common people eat the seeds after they have been cured for 14 days in cold water. The plant is best used as green forage to oxen.


a. (LS, I, 86-88). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 54-57   p.54  p.55  p.56  p.57.