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Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L4210 • Carl Linnaeus to José Celestino Mútis, 10 April 1769 n.s.
Dated 1769 d:10 Aprilis. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Santa Fe de Bogotá (Columbia). Written in Latin.

Amicissimo suo
J[ohanni] C[elestino] MUTIS.

Accepi dudum quas mittebas fructificationes Chinae verae. Dedi pro his speciebus gratiarum actiones, sed numquam sufficientes; plura ab iis didici quam ab omnibus, qui de China scripsere; quaeso, si umquam obtinuero responsionem, dicas et doceas, num me ramuli Chinae sint lactescentes. Doceas, quo solo crescat et sub quibus gradibus frigoris & caloris.

Accepi praeterito autumno literas, in quibus graphicem characterem dedisse Krameriae vel ejus affinis.

Accepi heri literas Tuas Cacotami 3 octobris 1767 una cum Thesauro novorum generum, quae me ita exhillararunt, ac si Nepanthen hausissem; nihil pulchrius vidi; delineasti omnia ac si ipsas plantas vidissem.

Immortales gratias reddo pro Fuchsiae charactere vero ut de ea amplius nullum dubium. Plantam praeter Plumierium et Te vix ullus vidit. Utinam redires me vivo et me hujus sicco specimine beares!

Genus 1. Nisi visa planta, non auderem excipere.

Genus 2. Solanum &c. est certe nova species.

Brabejum, 3. An arbor foliis verticillatis est vel quomodo vidistin Arborem capensem in Indiis?

Frutex 4. Anne Tournefortiae species?

Tradescantia 5. erit omnino Tradescantia. Anne missum specimen erit alia species, quam missum?

Vergilia 7 an Styracis species?

Besonia 8 novum certe et singulare genus.

Ruizia 9 habet multa communia cum Blakea Brownii; an sufficienter distinctum, sed anthera biperforata.

Bocconia 10. Optime!

Jacquinia II. De novo genere nullum dubium, sed nomen vellem mutares, cum Jacquinia genus dudum statum est. Dicas, quodnam nomen aliud imponas. Dicas, quodnam genus immortalitati consecrabilem in Tuam memoriam.

Quadria videtur distinguenda ab Hypericis.

Doleo, quod non sciam, ubi Terrarum degas. Suratte putabam esse partem Indiae orientalis; ex plantis vero crederem Te esse in India occidentali et forte in Mexicana Terra. Doceas, quomodo literae meae ad Te perveniant.

D[omin]us Alstroemer abest, ut nequeam ab eo sciscitare de novo genere Logiae et observationibus de Putorio.

Inclusisti in ultimis literis ramulum terminatum flore quadripartito. Quis est?

Anne etiamnum vidisti Genera mea plantarum editionis sextae. Holmia 1764?

Systema naturae 1766 de Animalibus

Systema naturae 1767 de Plantis

Systema naturae 1768 de Lapidibus

vel quomodo haec opuscula ad Te perveniant?

Utinam redires salvus in Europam; video ex datis, quod redeas plantis et earum observationibus ditior nummis Craeso. Utinam Te in hac vita liceret semel coram intueri, quasi e Paradiso reducem! Certe si rediisses, auderem Hispaniam Tui caussa petere, nisi senium prohiberet et instans fatum.

Mirum, quod nullus post Plumierum viderit Matthiolam aut Brossaeam. Bucephalum certe est species Trophi Brown.

Nullus etiamnum novit, unde Balsamus peruvianus desumitur.

Fausta Tibi quaevis apprecor; redeas felix in Gloriam Rei herbariae

Si aliquando scribas, includas e novis Tuis generibus unicum flosculum.

Dabam Upsaliae 1769
die 10 Aprilis.

upSUMMARY

Linnaeus expresses his gratitude to José Celestino MútisMútis, José Celestino
(1732-1808). Spanish. Botanist.
Went to South America in 1760 and lived
in Bogotá, which due to him
became an important centre of learning.
His comprehensive herbarium, manuscripts
and numerous watercolour botanical
illustrations were sent to Spain after
his death. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
for the fructifications of the true China [wrong for Cinchona; see Mútis to Linnaeus, 15 May 1770Letter L4372] which he received a long time ago. Linnaeus has already thanked Mútis but not sufficiently, since he has learnt more from these flowers than from all those who have written about China. He asks whether the branchlets of China are lactescent, on which soil China grows and at what temperature, etc.

The previous autumn Linnaeus received the character that Mútis sent him of Krameria or a plant related to it.

The previous day Linnaeus received Mútis’s letter dated 3 October 1767Letter L3983. There was also a treasury of new genera which Linnaeus enjoyed just as much as if he had drunk Nepenthes. Mútis had delineated everything so beautifully that Linnaeus almost saw the live plants.

Linnaeus is very grateful for Fuchsia and its character. There is now no doubt about this plant. Apart from Plumier and Mútis, hardly anybody has seen it. Linnaeus wishes to receive a dry specimen.

Linnaeus determines some plants that Mútis had asked him about:

Solanum; a new species

Brabejum

A plant that might be a species of Tournefortia

Tradescantia

Vergilia or a species of Styrax

Besonia, a new and remarkable genus

Ruizia; it has much in common with Patrick Browne’sBrowne, Patrick (1720-1790).
Irish. Botanist who made six voyages to
the West Indies. In 1756 he published
The Civil and natural history of
Jamaica
(1756). Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
Blakea

Bocconia

Jacquinia

Linnaeus wishes to know what genus should be consecrtated to the immortality of Mútis

Linnaeus wants to distinguish Quadria from genus Hypericum.

Linnaeus is sorry that he does not know where Mútis is. He believed Surat to be a part of East Indies. However, judging from the plants, Mútis seems to be in West Indies and perhaps in Mexico. He would like to know how his letters can reach Mútis.

Since Clas AlströmerAlströmer, Clas
(1736-1794). Swedish. Baron,
industrialist. Sent plants and specimens
to Linnaeus from his travels abroad.
Bought Linnaeus’s “little herbarium”,
now in the Natural History Museum in
Stockholm. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of August, Johan and Patrick
Alströmer. Correspondent of
Linnaeus
is away, Linnaeus cannot ask him about the new genus Logia and the observations regarding Putorius.

Linnaeus asks about a spray that was enclosed in Mútis’s latest letter [it is unclear, which letter Linnaeus refers to, it seems as if it has not come down to us].

Linnaeus wonders whether Mútis has seen Genera plantarum [...] editio sextaLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum [...] editio sexta ab auctore
reformata et aucta
(Stockholm 1764).
Soulsby no. 305.
and the different volumes of Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
[the first part ”Regnum animale” was published in 1766, the second ”Rgenum vegetabile” in 1767 and the third ”Regnum lapideum” in 1768].

Linnaeus hopes that Mútis will return safely to Europe. He understands from Mútis’s latest letter [it is unclear, which letter Linnaeus refers to, it seems as if it has not come down to us], that he will bring with him many plants and observations. Linnaeus wishes that he could just once see Mútis, who, as it seems, has returned from paradise. If Mútis had returned, Linnaeus would have dared to go to Spain for his sake, had not old age prohibited him.

It is strange that nobody since the days of Charles PlumierPlumier, Charles (1646-1704).
French. Botanist, travelled in Central
America and the Carribean. Linnaeus
generally approved of the descriptions
in his richly illustrated botanical
works.
has seen Matthiola or Brossaea. Bucephalum is most certainly a species of Browne’s Trophis.

There is nobody who yet knows where Balsamus peruvianus can be found.

Linnaeus wishes Mútis a safe journey home.

If Mútis writes, Linnaeus would like him to enclose a little flower of Mútis’s new genera.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original holograph (Bibliothèque, Institut de France, Ms 2451, 302-303). [1] [2] [3] [4]