-Search for letters
-Search in texts






Link: • Domenico Maria Leone Cirillo to Carl Linnaeus, 30 April 1766 n.s.
Dated pridie Kal. Maj. A. 1766.. Sent from Napoli (Italia) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Domenico Maria Leone CirilloCirillo, Domenico Maria Leone
(1739-1799). Italian. Physician and
naturalist, Naples. Correspondent of
was happy to receive a letter from Linnaeus [this letter has not come down to us].

Linnaeus has encouraged Cirillo to publish his work on the Sicilian Flora and his travel. Cirillo is working on it. After that he will work on his “Flora Neopolitana” [the first volume of this work was published in 1788, Dominici Cyrilli [...] Plantarum variorum regni Neapolitani fasciculiis primus (secundus)Cirillo, Domenico Maria Leone
Dominici Cyrilli [...] Plantarum
variorum regni Neapolitani fasciculiis
primus (secundus). Cum tabulis
(Naples, 1788-1792).

The Count of ChiaromonteChiaromonte, Italian. Count. sends his regards. He wants to exchange seeds with Linnaeus.

Galium, with a sugary seed, is a species that does not occur in Linnaeus’s works. Therefore, Cirillo asks Linnaeus to state the specific name. He will send Linnaeus a dried specimen.

If Melittis melissophylum germinates, Linnaeus will receive seeds. Silvio-Paulo Boccone’sBoccone, Silvio-Paolo
(1633-1704). Italian. Botanist at the
court of Ferdinand II of Tuscany,
professor of botany at Padua.
Rhamnus around Panormo is discussed.

Cirillo has found that the species of Polygonum that he earlier wrote to Linnaeus about is an Illecebrum paronychia.

Boccone’s Heliotropium odoratum is without doubt a variety of Heliotropium vulgare.

Since Ranunculus aquaticus cotyledonis folio has not yet flowered, Linnaeus cannot have a dried specimen until after the period of flowering.

Linnaeus had asked Cirillo for a new genus that he can name after Cirillo. Cirillo can perhaps find one in the future.

On Mount Aetna, Cirillo has found a small Liliacea without flowers that has matured in Cirillo’s garden; it is described. Perhaps this plant can constitute a new genus.

Cirillo considers Prasium majus and Prasium minus to be one species. Thus, what Linnaeus writes in his Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1762-1763).
Soulsby no. 500.
is correct.

Linnaeus writes in Species plantarum that Valeriana echinata has white and funnel-shaped flowers. However, they are purple and irregular. This very elegant plant abounds around Panormo. Solanum sodomeum abounds around Messana.

Thapsia turbith and Thapsia asclepium are described. Pietro Antonio MicheliMicheli, Pietro Antonio
(1679-1737). Italian. Botanist, curator
of the botanical garden of Florence.
Before Linnaeus the leading authority on
who has observed these two plants at Mount Gargano considers them to be distinct species in Hortus Pisanus.

Cirillo has received Hyacinthus africanus from Holland.

Around Naples there is a species of Lamium, which Micheli in Hortus Pisanus called Lamium cum labio superiori, etc. It is described.

That year Cirillo intends to study insects for his “Flora Neopolitana”. He mentions especially a Gryllus turritus. [Cirillo later published a Entomologiae neapolitanae specimen primumCirillo, Domenico Maria Leone
Entomologiae neapolitanae specimen
(Naples, 1787).

Cirillo is pleased that Linnaeus not only receives spectacular plants but also insects from the whole world.

Cirillo eagerly awaits the new edition of Linnaeus’s Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
. He has now received the last edition of Linnaeus’s Genera plantarum [...] editio sextaLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum [...] editio sexta ab auctore
reformata et aucta
(Stockholm 1764).
Soulsby no. 305.

Cirillo will perhaps publish a dissertation on things that he has detected regarding the anatomy of flowers.

Cirillo would like to have a copy of Linnaeus’s Species plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Species
(Stockholm 1762-1763).
Soulsby no. 500.
. He has not yet seen Linnaeus’s dissertation on Opobalsamum declaratum in dissertatione medicaLinnaeus, Carl Opobalsamum
declaratum in dissertatione medica

diss., resp. W. Le Moine (Uppsala
[1764]). Soulsby no. 2277.
and Museum s:ae m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginaeLinnaeus, Carl Museum s:ae
m:tis Ludovicae Ulricae reginae

(Stockholm 1764). Soulsby no. 1095a.

Cirillo is pleased with what Linnaeus has written on the new genera on plants.

Francesco Cupani’sCupani, Francesco (1657-1711).
Italian. Botanist, Messina.
Hortus CatholicusCupani, Francesco Hortus
Catholicus : seù illustrissimi,
& excellentissimi principis
Catholicæ, ducis Misilmeris,
comitis Vicaris, baronis Prizis. [...]
autore Francisco Cupani
is guarded by the Prince of Catholica. It is difficult to get access. A young man from Padua is the custodian of the plants; he only partly understands Joseph Pitton de Tournefort’sTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.

The follicles of Pistacia terebinthus are red, etc. Cirillo has never seen the cancer that Linnaeus wrote about. He hopes that Linnaeus will describe it in [the next edition of] Systema naturae.

Cirillo has learnt from Linnaeus Species plantarum that Linnaeus’s 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 father’s lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeus’s
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his
] is very learned in botany. He thanks the latter for his kindness and sends him his regards.

P.S. 1 Cirillo wrote this letter a long time ago but he did not send it. A friend has offered him the opportunity to go to Apulia and after that to Calabria and Sicily. Cirillo therefore writes this letter in haste. He sends only seeds and a dried specimen of Drypis.

P.S.2 Ranunculus cotyledonis folio has flowered. It is a true species of Hydrocotyle as Michelangelo TilliTilli, Michelangelo
(1665-1740). Italian. Professor of
botany, supervisor of the botanical
garden, Pisa. Grandfather of Angelo
Attilio Tilli.
states. During Cirillo’s travels in Sicily, Linnaeus can send letters to Messana.

P.S.3 Cirillo entreats Linnaeus to send him his Species plantarum. There is a man in London through whom the work can be sent.


a. (LS, III, 191-192). [1] [2] [3]