Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus,
25 September 1766 n.s.
L3794. Peter CollinsonPeter Collinson (1694-1768). British.
During 1765, Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
Linnaeus is particularly annoyed that Linnaeus has not fulfilled his promise to send him the latest edition of Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
Some time ago, Collinson had observed a twig in a peach tree, two inches long, with a peach on one side and a nectarine on the other. The two fruits actually touched each other.
Since this is not the first time that Collinson has seen natural nectarines in peach trees, Collinson concludes that nectarines are an offspring of peaches.
Collinson has several different specimens, and they have grown from stones. On one instance, somebody eating a nectarine threw the stone away, and it came up. At first, Collinson thought the plant was a peach, but it developed into a nectarine plant and it brings fruits of a high quality. Daniel SolanderSolander, Daniel (1733-1782).
Collinson wonders if Linnaeus or one of his pupils can find in his library if nectarines were known to ancient people, when they are first mentioned in botanical literature and from where it came.
The summer was very wet, which damaged the crop, but the harvest season was dry. However, the ears of wheat are very light, although Collinson hopes there will be enough to feed the nation. All export of corn has been stopped, to prevent sales to foreign markets and higher local prices.
On the other hand, the supply of hay is abundant, due to the wet weather, and the gardens are extremely beautiful. Collinson has not taken any of his exotic plants indoors, for there was no frost before October 4, and the plants fared better outdoors. Collinson is very glad to see the great variety of plants in his garden.
John HopeHope, John (1725-1786).
Collinson hopes Linnaeus’s son [Carl Linnaeus the Younger Linnaeus the Younger, Carl
In the Prince of Wales’s garden at Kew, Protea maior is flowering, and the Andrachne has flowered in John Fothergill’sFothergill, John (1712-1780).
Collinson asks about Linnaeus’s health and wishes him a long life.
P.S. 1. Collinson sends his greetings to Linnaeus’s son.
P.S. 2. dated October 4, 1766, returns to some issues:
Linnaeus’s latest letter to Collinson was dated August 15, 1765 [this letter has not come down to us].
Collinson mentions that it is the foramen ovale in the heart of the seal that makes it able to stay under water for a long time. If something similar could be discovered in the heart of the swallow, Collinson would no longer doubt that the swallow hibernates in the bottom of lakes. Collinson has tried to make Linnaeus help him to settle this issue, but Linnaeus has been deaf to all these proposals.
Collinson has seen several new animals from America, and he supposes Solander will report to Linnaeus about them.