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Link: • Johannes Burman to Carl Linnaeus, 18 August 1764 n.s.
Dated 18 Augusti 1764. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to (). Written in Latin.


Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is happy seeing from Linnaeusís letter dated 27 July 1764Letter L3420 that the Cape plants pleased him, particularly Petasites Bliti fructu. Linnaeus has given an exact description of it. Since it is a new genus Linnaeus can change the name if he finds Blitispermum unsuitable, but then he must tell Burman and his son [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeusís pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] so that the new name can be added to the Flora Capensis that his son is composing [this work was later added to Nicolaas Laurens Burmanís Flora IndicaBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Flora Indica: cui accedit series
zoophytorum Indicorum, nec non prodromus
florae Capensis
(Leiden &
Amsterdam, 1768).
]. He has also in mind to complete the Flora Indica [published in 1768, Flora IndicaBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Flora Indica: cui accedit series
zoophytorum Indicorum, nec non prodromus
florae Capensis
(Leiden &
Amsterdam, 1768).

Burman regrets that the Indian plants were so damaged that it will be almost imposible for Linnaeus to describe them. Burman and his son hope, however, that Linnaeus will note what genus they resemble most. If they receive better specimens they can more easily classify them.

Burman and his son are surprised that Linnaeus does not mention the engraved illustrations that the son inserted into Linnaeusís Flora [presumably Flora Svecica 2nd ed.Linnaeus, Carl Flora Svecica
: exhibens plantas per regnum Sveciae
crescentes, systematice cum differentiis
specierum, synonymis autorum, nominibus
incolarum, solo locorum, usu
oeconomorum, officinalibus
2nd ed. (Stockholm
1755). Soulsby no. 409.
]. Did they not please Linnaeus? He must tell them his opinion before they are to be published.

The Cape plants are given to Linnaeus as a gift. Burmanís son has added the numbers that Linnaeus can refer to if he has some remarks.

Burman asks Linnaeus to return the Indian plants with his commentaries. The sooner the sonís work can be sent to the printers.

The Gladiolus has undulate petals with whitish colours. The Ferraria flowers with different colours. Digera arvensis flowers. He has received the seeds from Pehr ForsskålForsskål, Peter
(1732-1763). Swedish. Naturalist and
explorer. Linnaeusís student, professor
in Denmark in 1759. Joined a Danish
expedition to Egypt and Arabia in 1761.
Died at Jerîm, Arabia.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and he encloses a spica with flowers with the letter so that Linnaeus can examine it. Is it not similar to Achyrantes? Burman has a new species of Geranium. He encloses it with some foliage, too.

Burman has not yet seen Michel AdansonísAdanson, Michel (1727-1806).
French. Botanist. Travelled in Senegal.
An opponent of Linnaeus. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
natural system [Burman refers to the method brought forward by Adanson in Famille des plantesAdanson, Michel Familles des
, 2 vol. (Paris, 1763).
], but he understands from Linnaeusís letter that it is not worth seeing.

The Arun with perforate leaves flowers.

Burman has not heard or received anything from Linnaeusís son [Carl Linnaeus the YoungerLinnaeus the Younger, Carl
(1741-1783). Swedish. Botanist. Son of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Brother of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa,
Sara Christina and Sophia Linnaea.
Attended his fatherís lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeusís
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his
]. Did he start his journey abroad? [Except for a journey to Copenhagen, Carl Linnaeus the Younger didnít go abroad during his fatherís lifetime, but waited until 1781 Ė1782]. He had promised to send his decades and some dried plants. Burman asks for exotic and Spanish plants.

Clas AlströmerAlströmer, Clas
(1736-1794). Swedish. Baron,
industrialist. Sent plants and specimens
to Linnaeus from his travels abroad.
Bought Linnaeusís ďlittle herbariumĒ,
now in the Natural History Museum in
Stockholm. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of August, Johan and Patrick
Alströmer. Correspondent of
has often visited Burman, particularly at his estate. He is an honest, gifted and charming man and very skilled with plants and in natural history. He is travelling through Holland, he will soon return, and then go back to Sweden. Another Swede stayed with Sven VittbomVittbom, Sven Swedish.
Gardener at Zuidwijk, close to Leiden.
some weeks ago and visited Burman on his way to Geldern.

Burman has had a picture made of his monkey for Linnaeus. If Linnaeus could see it live he would be surprised to see its agility and shrewdness. People say that they have never seen anything like it. Burman received it five or six years ago from a Surinam friend who told him that it comes from Guinea. It is fond of fruit, boiled vegetables, meat juice and milk. It eats with the gardener and lives in his house in winter.


a. (LS, II, 475-476). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 172-173   p.172  p.173.