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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Carl Gustaf Ekeberg, 18 August 1763 n.s.
Dated 18 Augusti 1763. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to (). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus exclaims that he has never been so exalted by any letter as by Carl Gustaf Ekeberg’sEkeberg, Carl Gustaf
(1716-1784). Swedish. Captain, employed
by the Swedish East India Company.
of 13 July 1763 [this letter has not come down to us] where he is promised a whole box of insects from Cape of Good Hope, a ferlot of seeds and roots from Cape of Good Hope, a basket of various seeds, etc., things that Linnaeus might have wished to obtain but never thought to achieve. Linnaeus exhorts Ekeberg to return quickly to his wife, Hedvig EkebergEkeberg, Hedvig (1719-1809).
Swedish. Wife of Carl Gustaf Ekeberg.
, saying also that if he is not in town when Ekeberg returns Linnaeus has arranged an express messenger to fetch him from his farm within two hours.

Linnaeus wonders about a living tea tree, exclaiming: “Is it possible? Is it really the tea tree?” Linnaeus is certain that it would never arrive undamaged in Uppsala. Fate is always awaiting its chance to destroy things. Linnaeus says that although he is old he would still dare to travel to Gothenburg and himself carry the tree back to Uppsala in his arms if it were a genuine tea tree. Linnaeus entreats Ekeberg to give the tree every possible care, even though he fears that the tree is instead Cassine, which is similar to tea in its foliage and has been named in Holland as the tea tree.

Linnaeus states that if leaves two and three are always apposite, as in Figure 1, then it is certainly Cassine, but if the leaves are placed as in Figure 2 then it is genuine tea.

Linnaeus closes by saying that he will be unable to find peace neither night nor day until he has met Ekeberg with the tea tree and the insects from the Cape of Good Hope, exhorting God to guard them safely.



a. copy (KVA).


1. "Thebuskens införande i Sverige 1763: Tvĺ bref af Carl von Linné" (1893), p. 13 .
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 9-10   p.9  p.10.