Our mutual friend Doctor Garden sent in August last a bottle with some animals in Spirits, & also a letter, directed to you. I sent the bottle to M[iste]r Lindegren, who promisd to forward to you by Capt[ain] Robenius (I think that was his name), and the letter by the same ship, or some other conveyance. I hope you have rec’d them safe.
I rec’d, a few days since your very kind Letter of the 4 of Septemb[er], with one inclosd for James Gordon, our famous Gardiner, and one for D[octo]r Garden, the first I sent immediately, the latter shall go by the first Ship. I have not yet inserted the Characters of the Illicium Floridense in the Acts of the Royal Society, but propose to do it immediately, it differs in smell from the Eastern one, being more agreeably Aromatic, the Petals of a fine red; the Stamina about thirty; the Capsulae always 13; the Calyx from 4 to 6 leaves, deciduous; the Linear Petals in 3 arrangements; the outward 9, the broadest; the next 9, between them, smaller; and the innermost 9, still smaller; in all 27. They are not Nectaria but petala. I think it comes next to the Dillenia. As soon as I have finishd it, I will send you my description.
Solander and Banks are daily expectd, but no news of them yet.
The Ginkgo of Kaemfer has not yet flowerd, but grows freely, and we are in hopes will soon flower.
The Hypericum Lasianthus (Anglice, Loblolly Bay) is a new genus; the Petals join in a tube at the base; besides the 5 ciliated subrotund foliola of the Calyx, there are constantly 4 bracteal leaves, like a calyx, under it, but not regularly placd, one of them being always lower than the rest. It is now going into flower; and I shall have an exact drawing made of it, with a description, which I shall send you, proposing with my Friend D[octo]r Garden, to have it calld Gordonia, after our friend James Gordon.
I have seen many animalia infusoria which I shall make drawings of; but have not time from public business to attend to this, or my System of Zoophytes, as I could wish, but live in hopes to print it in time. At least I will leave my figures & descriptions to the world, and wish they were done by abler hands; but am fully convinced that they are in no degrees vegetables, but branched animals.
The Tea plant thrives with M[iste]r Lee and M[iste]r Aiton. No new seeds were sent
this year from China. The wax inclosure is the best method. There are many of these
plants in England. The Gardenia thrives well, both single & double: a peaty
earth, with very little sand[a][a] : MS. 1 little sand [added above
the line] on it, is the best soil; this I lately discoverd.
I wish your ambassador here would take charge of any Seeds I may give him for you. I think you may procure an order from your Court for this purpose, that he may forward you any Seeds when he sends expresses to Stockholm.
We every day receive new Seeds from different parts of the World. M[iste]r Aiton, the Princess of Wales Gardiner at Kew is the person to whom I send mine. I think him worth your Correspondence, for he has it greatly in his power to serve you.
My best wishes attend you.