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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3498 • Carl Linnaeus to Johannes Burman, 17 December 1764 n.s.
Dated 1764 d 17 Decembr. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Viro Amplissimo,
D[omino] D[octori] JO[HANNI] BURMANNO,
S[alutem] pl[urimam] d[icit]
Car[olus] v[on] Linné,
Equ[es].

A morbo etiamnum debilis examinavi praeterita aestate plantas a Te amicissime missas; quotquot licuit nova Genera ex iis elicui; erant enim plurima specimina rudiora, quod mihi vitio non vertas, cum ultra procedere non datur, quam fructificatio ducit. Descripsi hos Indicos characteres in diffusa epistola etiamnum debilis. Remisi candide omnes plantas nulla excepta per Senatorem Gother Holmensem, per quem plantas accepi, ut si unica deficiat, mea culpa non factum est. Capenses tamdiu retinui, cum sic jubebas in epistola et mihi dono dabas, pro quibus numquam satis Tuas laudes praedicare valeo. Responsorias nullas accepi, ideoque eti¬amnum nescius sum, utrum recepisti Tuas plantas vel accepisti meas literas, in quibus descripsi characteres novorum Generum.

Upsaliae 1764 d[ie] 17 Decembr[is].

Ante octiduum accessere cum navibus exoticis duae cistae plantis rarissimis refertae, sed absque literis, ut nesciam, unde eaedem missae.

Prior continet circiter 400 plantas Indicas, inter folia chartacea asservatas, absque numeris sed cum nominibus Indicis adscriptis; manum non novi; nec videtur Tua nec filii Tui. Forte ab eo, qui ad Te eas misit. Laetatus has inspexi cum unumquodque facile specimen erat cum fructificatione satis perfecta, ut si hoc habuissem praeterita aestate, dum Tuas priores examinabam, plerasque indigitare potuissem.

Posterior cista continet ultra 100 plantas Capenses, absque charta exsiccatas; sunt haec specimina et pulcherrima et rarissima pleraque cum fructificatione. Ex numeris particulae chartae lusoriae inscriptis video has missas vel a Te, vel a Gronovio, vel a Royeno; certe numeri Belgici sunt. Cum in his plerique numeri contineant plura individua speciminum, si Tua sint, quaeso, num liceat ex his, ubi sunt in duplo vel decuplo, eximere speciminulum pro meo herbario; de qua re expeto, quamprimum liceat, tuum responsum; e priori cista nullam eximam, cum video eas plantas solitarias.

Quamprimum dies 20 Decembris praeterlapsa est, cessant labores academici et ego totus in hisce plantis ero.

His vale; salutes oro D[ominu]m filium Tuum, quamprimum scribas et accepero Tuas esse plantas; ad singulas respondebo, quamprimum umquam licet, scilicet primum ad Capenses, dein ad Indicas, quae me detinebunt certe per mensem et ultra.

In Capensi cista, dum fugitivis oculis perlustrabam plantas insigni gaudio me adfecere duae splendidae plantae:

MAHERNIA. Quod nomen necessario retinendum ex ipsa natura plantae desumtum.

CAL. Perianthium monophyllum campanulatum 5-dentatum, dentibus subulatis erectis, basi longioribus; persistens.

COR.Petala 5 cordata oblonga patentia, calyce duplo longiora; unguibus latiusculis longitudine tubi calycis. Nectaria 5 obcordata pedicellata, germini circumposita, calyce breviora.

STAM. Filamenta 5 capillaria, Nectario insidentia, calyce breviora. Antherae oblongae erectae, acuminatae.

PIST. Germen subpedicellatum obovatum quinquangulum, longitudine calycis. Styli 5 setacei, longitudine petalorum. Stigmata simplicia.

PER. Capsula obovata obtuse quinquangula, 5-locularis.

SEM. nonnulla, reniformia.

Verticillata MAHERNIA n° 86.

Speciosum LEUCADENDRUM foliis lanceolatis integris, caly¬cibus tomentosis apice penicillatis.

Lepidocarpodendrum folio oblongo viridi limbo rubro ornato, squamarum apice et margine lanuginosis. Boerh. Lugdb. 2. p. 185 t. 185.

Rami laeves. Folia alterna laurina laevia lanceolata sessilia. Flos terminalis sessilis. Calyx imbricatus strobiliformis, squamis sericeo tomentosis, infimis minutis; mediis lanceolatis; summis longis canaliculatis tomentoso-sericeis, semicylindricis, erectis apice lana ferruginea penicillatis singulari pulchroque spectaculo. Flosculi calyce breviores ex duobus staminibus apice connexis in cylindrum; altero latiore e tribus coadunato. Germina pilosa.

n° 117 Planta refert Tuam Wachendorfiam, sed, cum fructus inferi sunt, debet ad Ixias referri; anne vidistin folia? Singularis profecto in hoc genere ob flores primum umbellatos, mox racemosos.

Viro amplissimo
D[omino] D[octori] Joanni Burmanno
Professori Botanico
Amsterdam

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus is still weak from illness but he has examined the plants Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
sent last summer and found some new genera. Some were incomplete, and Linnaeus cannot do much if the fructification is missing. Though still weak, he has made descriptions of the Indian plants and he has returned all the plants through councillor Engelbert GotherGother, Engelbert (1708-1775).
Swedish. Director at the Rörstrand
porcelain factory.
in Stockholm who also delivered them. He has kept the Cape plants as a gift as Burman told him in his letter [Burman to Linnaeus 18 August 1764Letter L3436]. Linnaeus can never praise him enough for that. He has had no answer from Burman if he has received the plants and the letter with descriptions.

Eight days ago Linnaeus received from a ship two boxes full of rare plants but without any letter so that he cannot see where they come from. One contains about 400 Indian plants without numbers but with Indian names added. He cannot recognize the handwriting. It does not seem to be Burmanís or his sonís [Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeusís pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
] writing. Perhaps it is by the man who sent it to them. Linnaeus has inspected them and they have perfect fructification.

The other box contains more than 100 Cape plants, very rare and beautiful, most of them with fructification. From the numbers he can see that they come from Burman, Johan Frederik GronoviusGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
or Adriaan van van RoyenRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
since they are Dutch. Because there are several specimens of each plant, Linnaeus asks Burman if he can take some for his herbarium, if they belong to Burman. He asks Burman to answer as soon as possible. He has taken nothing from the first box.

On December 20 Linnaeus finishes his academic work and he can devote his time completely to these plants. Linnaeus will first deal with the Cape plants, then the Indian ones. That will take more than a month.

Linnaeus took a rapid look at the Cape plants and found two splendid plants that especially pleased him, Mathernia and Leucadendrum. He gives a description of them.

The plant number 117 ressembles Burmanís Wachendorfia but it should be classified as an Ixia.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (KVA, Carl von Linnťs arkiv, 2101-2104). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Epistolae ineditae Caroli Linnaei (1830), p. 80-82 .
2. Bref och skrifvelser (1943), vol. II:2, p. 174-176   p.174  p.175  p.176.