-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Johan Peter Falck to Carl Linnaeus, 22 June 1764 n.s.
Dated 22 Junii 1764. Sent from St Petersburg (Russia) to (). Written in Swedish.


Johan Peter FalckFalck, Johan Peter (1732-1774).
Swedish. Professor of botany and
curator of the botanical garden of St
Petersburg. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
hopes that his last letter [Falck to Linnaeus, 20 April 1764Letter L3393], with the enclosed seed-package from the Advisory Counsel, Johann Jacob Lerche Lerche, Johann Jacob
(1703-1780). German. Naturalist.
Military physician in Russian service at
Astrakan. Travelled in Persia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, has reached Linnaeus well before the present letter.

With great anxiousness Falck has been informed about Linnaeusís severe illness. However, he has to his utmost joy and relief also been told that Linnaeus has recovered. Falck has been struck with melancholia more than ever this year, although he believes he will reach old age. With successive anti-scorbutic treatments he tries to keep the symptoms in order. He has once been out in the countryside together with a Dutch priest. But the horrible weather made the excursion short and unpleasant.

Some time ago Falck could finally pay the Academy Botanical Garden a visit. Thanks to the Imperial physician-in-ordinaryís standing order for Linnaeus, Falck is now able to deliver the following report of plants not present in the paradise of Uppsala, i.e. the Uppsala University Botanical Garden: Actaea cimicifuga, presenting flowers first, every year. It has never developed fruits here. In shadow it reaches the height of a man but in open sun hardly 2 alnar [? 1,2 m]. The false spiraea, Spiraea sorbifolia, develops beautifully but does not flower, about a metre high.The Siberian sea rosemary, Tournefortia Sibirica, is in flower. Johann Ernst HebenstreitHebenstreit, Johann Ernst
(1703-1757). German. Anatomist and
explorer. Professor in Leipzig in 1729.
Travelled in North Africa 1731-1735.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
earlier described it in the genus Messerschmidia. Cineraria glauca is also flowering but Hyocyamus physalodes has flowered a long time ago. Some members of class Syngenesia, that are not in flower but close to Carduus, are hard to examine.

The gardener shows Falck some trees, which are considered to be the most rare ones in the garden. Joseph Gottlieb KolreuterKolreuter, Joseph Gottlieb
(1733-1806). German. Botanist,
published a pioneering work on plant
had them illustrated when they were in flower, i.e. 5 to 6 years ago. Falck guesses that one was a species of the Bignoniae with big yellow flowers, arranged like those in Syringa. Most likely it is Bignonia stans. The other is a Toxicodendron and the last is a miserable Cassine maurocenia. There are many varieties of Paeonia officinalis. Paeonia tenuifolia and Spiraea crenata are well represented. Otherwise there is nothing special. The area is small but sufficient considering the amount of cultivated plants.

In the garden of Falckís benefactor there is a shrubby Artemisia considered to be an ordinary southernwood [Artemisia abrotanum]. No one knows its origin or if it ever has flowered. Its fragrance is reminiscent of common tansy [Tanacetum vulgare]. It must be hardy to survive the winter of St. Petersburg. The Counsel of Advisory has promised him a potted sample of it towards the autumn, which then can be sent to Uppsala. Falck also informs Linnaeus about the particular characters of the leaf. Perhaps it is one of the shrubby species of Artemisia that , Johann Georg GmelinGmelin, Johann Georg
(1709-1755). German. Voyager, botanist
and chemist. At the initiative of
empress Anna of Russia he spent ten
years (1733-1743) exploring Siberia. In
1749 he became professor of botany and
chemistry at Tübingen. Together
with his nephew Samuel Gottlieb he wrote
Flora Sibirica (1747-1769).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has in his Flora SibiricaGmelin, Johann Georg Flora
Sibirica, sive Historia plantarum
(St Petersburg 1747-1769).
, vol. II. If Falck could only secure the transport of Andromeda calyculata, he would deliver some samples. It seems to be a hardy plant to survive since it has been submersed for a long time.

Falck sends his most humble regards to Linnaeusís wife [Sara Elisabet LinnaeaMoraea, Sara Elisabet
(1716-1806). Swedish. Linnaeusís 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.
], his daughters and Linnaeus himself.

P.S. Falck has not been able to observe the coming of leaves except for the birches [Betula], which commenced on 7 May. On the same day the broken ice violently left lake Ladoga through the river Neva. Apple trees [Malus] and currant bushes [Ribes spp.] are not mentioned in this connection since they are located in warm beds with walls of wood and bricks facing the sun. The gardeners sell Nyctanthes at a price of 3 to 4 roubles per pot. Pavel Grigorevich DemidovDemidov, Pavel Grigorevich
(1738-1821). Russian. Linnaeus´s
student. Brother of Alexandr Grigorevich
Demidov and Petr Grigorevich Demidov.
Son of Georgij Akinfievich Demidov and
grandson of Akinfiy Nikitich Demidov. He
created a natural history museum in
Moscow which was later given to the
University of Moscow. Correspondent of
has promised to send some samples of Siberian minerals to Linnaeus.

Lerche, has left a stick of the lace-bark tree [Lagetta lintearia] to be delivered. He also conveys his deep admiration of Linnaeus. Falck intends to address the stick to Fredrik ZiervogelZiervogel, Fredrik (1727-1795).
Swedish. Pharmacist, keper of the
pharmacies, "Svanen" and
"Markattan", Stockholm.
, the Royal Pharmacist, since Falck canít find any one else as commissioner for Linnaeus in this matter.


a. (LS, IV, 117-118). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 40-43   p.40  p.41  p.42  p.43.