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Link: • Johan Ernst Gunnerus to Carl Linnaeus, 28 August 1769 n.s.
Dated d. 28 Aug. 1769. Sent from Trondheim (Norway) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Danish.


Before Johan Ernst GunnerusGunnerus, Johan Ernst
(1718-1773). Norwegian. Bishop of
Trondheim. Together with Gerhard
Schøning and Peter Friederich
Suhm he founded in 1760 Det Kongelige
Norske Videnskabers Selskab [The Royal
Norwegian Society of Sciences and
Letters]. Author of Flora
(1766-1776). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
sends the second volume of his Flora [Gunnerus refers to his Flora Norvegica]Gunnerus, Johan Ernst Flora
Norvegica, observationibus praesertim
aeconomicis panosque Norvegici
(Trondheim &
Copenhagen, 1766-1772), 2 vols.
], he would like to consult Linnaeus about a few things. Among the plants depicted, there are five that Gunnerus cannot find in Linnaeus’s system, i.e. three specimens of Fucus and two of Lichen. He sends these and writes down how they are described in his Flora: 1. Fucus pectinatus purpurescens, etc. A few years previously Hans StrömStröm, Hans (1726-1797).
Norwegian. Clergyman. Professor of
theology. Naturalist and zoologist.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had sent Linnaeus a specimen, which Gunnerus believes that he has forwarded to Linnaeus. After that Gunnerus has, however, found better specimens in Nordland and Finnmarken. 2. Fucus norlandicus subteres, etc. It resembles somewhat Linnaeus’s Fucus cartilagineus. It is not the same, though. 3. Fucus norvegicus fronde plana, etc. 4. Lichen normöricus, solidus, ater, etc. It resembles Linnaeus’s Lichen fragilis, but Gunnerus cannot see that it can be the same. Eiler Hagerup KempeKempe, Eiler Hagerup
(1733-1771). Norwegian. Vicar of
Tingvoll, Norway.
from Normör has sent it. If Gunnerus had only been sure that it was a new one, he would have loved to call it Lichen Kempii. Kempe is already well versed in Linnaeus’s system as his description of Nordmör will show when it is published. 5. Lichen parasiticus, filamentosus, ater, etc. Gunnerus believes that it is a Veratrum album that he sent Linnaeus an illustration of. He should have written ”stigma trifidum” instead of ”3 stigmata”, though. When Jens Finne BorchgrevinkBorchgrevink, Jens Finne
(1737-1819). Norwegian. Botanist and
clergyman. One of Linnaeus’s private
pupils. Assistant to Johan Ernst
Gunnerus. Son of Leonhard Christian
Borchgrevink. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
returns together with Maximilian HellHell, Maximilian (1720-1792).
Hungarian. Astronomer and an ordained
Jesuit priest, director of the
observatorium in Vienna in 1756. Upon
the invitation of the King of Denmark he
went to the north of Norway in 1769 to
observe the transit of Venus before the
sun. The Royal Danish Academy of
Sciences and Letters funded the
publication of his 1770 account of the
Venus passage.

class="Uline">Source: F.
Szenkovits, "Hell Miksa (Maximilian
Hell,1720–1792 )", Technical
Review, Historia Scientiarum 2 30
(2005) 13–26 (summary in English); art.
in Wikipedia based on Alexander
Moutchnik, Forschung und Lehre in der
zweiten Hälfte des 18.
Jahrhunderts: Der Naturwissenschaftler
und Universitätsprofessor Christian
Mayer SJ (1719-1783)
from Vardö, Gunnerus expects to receive a better specimen of Veratrum. The other plants that Gunnerus has depicted are Serapias latifolia, Ophrys cordata,Ophrys insectifera (Myodes), Fontinalis minor, Ribes alpinum, Ulva pruniformis, etc. He has given his illustrations of Ophrys alpina and Ophrys corallorhiza to Carl Christian OederOeder, Carl Christian (?-?).
to be used for his ”Flora” [Gunnerus refers to, [Flora danica]. Icones plantarum sponte nascentium in regnis Daniae et NorvegiaeOeder, Georg Christian von
[Flora danica.] [Flora danica].
Icones plantarum sponte nascentium in
regnis Daniae et Norvegiae, in ducatibus
Slesvici et Holsatiae, et in comitatibus
Oldenburgi et Delmenhorstiae: ad
illustrandum opus de iisdem plantis,
regio jussu exarandum, Florae danicae
nomine inscriptum
, 17 vol., Suppl.
(1 v.) (Copenhagen 1766 [i.e.
]. Gunnerus has also given Oeder illustrations of Pyrola secunda and Pinguicula alpina. Gunnerus has the following questions for Linnaeus: 1. Is Oeders’s tab. 82 Sedum atratum or Cassula rubens or another one? 2. Is tab. 143 Draba pyrenaica? 3. Is Muscus, tab. 215, which is related to genera Lycopodium and Fontinalis, a Fontinalis or another plant? 4. Is Gnaphalium, tab. 254, different from Gnaphalium sylvaticum? 5. To which genus in Systema naturae, 12th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.
should Helleborine latifolia, tab. 267, be brought? Might it be to the Serapiae? 5 [sic]. Can Fucus ramosissimus, etc., tab. 276, be found in Systema naturae? 6. Is Polytrichum ramosum, tab. 297, a variety of Polytrichum alpinum? Is Polytrichum urnigerum sufficiently distinct from Polytrichum alpinum? 7. Is Oeder’s Gentiana bavarica ?, tab. 317, a variety of Gentiana ciliata? 8. Is tab. 318 a new Gentiana? 9. Is Johann Amman’sAmman, Johann (1707-1741).
Swiss/Russian?. Curator of Hans Sloane’s
natural history collection. Professor of
botany at the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at St Petersburg. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
Ranunculus, tab. 297, which is related to Ranunculus lapponicus, a new species? 10. Is tab. 333 an Orchis islandica or is it a new one? 11. Is tab. 343 likewise a Gentiana islandica? 12. Is William Hudson’sHudson, William (1730-1792).
British. Pharmacist at Westmoreland.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Fucus linearis, tab. 351, to be found in Systema naturae? 13. Is Fucus pinnatifidus, tab. 354, likewise Hudson’s? 14. Is not Ulva sobolifera, tab. 356, also a new one? 15. Is not Conferva squarrosa, tab. 357, also a new one? 16. Is Oeder’s Saxifraga bulbifera?, tab. 390, a variety of Saxifraga rivularis? 17. Is Oeder’s Fucus gigartinus ?, tab. 394, correctly described? 18. Can Carex tripartita , etc., tab. 403, be found in Systema naturae? 19. Could Fucus digit. Alveariorum, tab. 405, be Clavaria? 20. Is Oeder’s Sisymbrum islandicum, tab. 409, correct? 21. Where should Fucus fungularis imp., tab. 420, be brought? 22. Could Ström’s Tremella sphaerica, p. 131, in his description of Söndmör, I, p. 31, be an Ulva, for example, Ulva granulata?

Gunnerus sends Linnaeus a Saxifraga tridactylites that is depicted in his Flora. In the box where there are Lichen normöricus and Lichen parasiticus, Gunnerus has also put three Cochleae: 1) Turbo muricatus? with the reference no. 529 to the tenth edition of Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
2) Trochus cinerarius, no. 512? 3) A bigger and darker Trochus cinerarius, no 512.

P.S. Gunnerus cannot distinguish Oeder’s Fucus saccharinus from the Ulva latissima, which Gunnerus once sent to Linnaeus. Gunnerus would like to have back the Cochlea under no 3 above, since it has not yet been depicted. Gunnerus would like Linnaeus to tell him the names of the specimens of Fucus and Lichen that he has sent. If the names have not already been inserted in Systema naturae, Gunnerus would be grateful to use them as his own in his Flora. Gunnerus sees from Henrik Tonning’sTonning, Henrik (1732-1796).
Danish. Physician and explorer,
Trondheim. Linnaeus’s student 1766-1768.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
dissertation [Gunnerus refers to, Dissertatio botanico-medico sistens rariora NorwegiaeLinnaeus, Carl Dissertatio
botanico-medico sistens rariora
, diss., resp. H. Tonning
(Uppsala, 1768). Soulsby no. 2381.
] that Linnaeus has given the name Saxifraga aizoides to Oeder’s Saxifraga autumnalis. Gunnerus takes the liberty of sending two specimens of Oeder’s Saxifraga autumnalis, in case Linnaeus should not have seen a live specimen. But Gunnerus does not doubt that Linnaeus is correct.


a. (LS, VI, 53-54). [1] [2] [3]


1. Brevveksling (1976), p. 97-100 .