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Link: • John Ellis to Carl Linnaeus, 3 July 1767 n.s.
Dated July 3. 1767. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.


I have rec’d from D[octo]r Schlosser of Amsterdam, a small specimen of Meese’s Lichen terrestris articulatus, &c. or the Corallina terrestris of D[octo]r Pallas. It is a different species from what I have. It has longer cylindrical joints than any of the trichotomous kinds, which are in my collection; but those which he would have to be parts of fructification, are evidently no more than defective lateral branches. They are solid, compressed,[a][a] : MS. 1 compressed [added above
the line
and very irregularly shapd; whereas all the tribe of articulated stony Corallines, have hollow subrotund ovaries.

M[iste]r Meese asserts he found it growing in an Ericetum in Friesland, which D[octo]r Pallas, who should know better, agrees to be true, in order to make Corallines plants; but the world is not so easily impos’d on; for my part I should as soon expect to find Pennatulae creeping about the woods, as Corallines growing on land; nay as ever expect to find a Calcareous plant. The place where he found it must have been sea formerly. I have rec’d the dissertations you were so kind to send me by the Clergyman that is going to Pensylvania. I shall send D[octo]r Garden and M[iste]r Collinson the Duplicates. I return you my hearty thanks for them. I have been so hurried with business, that I have not been able to try the experiments on the Fungi, which indeed are surprising, and demand our strictest attention. This is the time of the year that they are likely to succeed best. I call’d at Gordons the other day. The Ellisia was in flower and seed; but the fruit is testiculated, not one seed growing over another, but side by side thus [Ellis has drawn a picture].

The Alstroemeria is in flower at M[iste]r Lee’s. M[iste]r Lee desires to know whether you have receiv’d the plants he sent you by order of Lady Ann Monson; when you write next pray let me know.

D[octo]r Gordon intends you a plant of the Ginko of Kaempfer. I shall send your specimen of the Siren lacertina at the same time.

This dissertation on the Corallines employs my thoughts, when I have leisure from business; it is the most difficult part of all the Zoophytes to explain, as a great deal depends on examining the structure of them in the Microscope. My plates of them are now correcting.

I have several of the Fucus & Ulva tribe, that amaze me, when I come to examine them with glasses. I can’t expect to live long enough to go through so difficult a task, as the attempt to describe them. I will do what I can, when I want amusement, as I find the Study of Nature the greatest happiness I enjoy in this world.

My best wishes attend you. I am, D[ea]r Sir,
Your most Obed[ien]t and much obligd Friend & humble Serv[an]t,
John Ellis.

I have made an alteration in my character of a Corallina.

Animal crescens habitu plantae.

Stirps fixa, e tubis capillaribus ramosis, per crustam calcaream porosam, se se exserentibus composita. Rami (saepe articulati) semper ramulosi, vel divaricati, liberi, vel conglutinati, connexi.

The Right Honorable
Charles Von Linné
at Upsal
Post P[ai]d


Not yet available


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 135-136). [1] [2] [3]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 206-208   p.206  p.207  p.208.


MS. 1 compressed [added above the line]