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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Carl Peter Thunberg, [31 December 1773] n.s.
Dated . Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus expresses his deepest gratitude for all the beautiful and rare plants Carl Peter ThunbergThunberg, Carl Peter
(1743-1828). Swedish. Botanist,
physician, explorer. Professor of
medicine and botany at Uppsala. Studied
medicine under Linnaeus in Uppsala,
medicine and surgery in Paris, natural
history under Johannes Burman in
Amsterdam. Travelled in South Africa in
1772-1775, in Japan 1775-1776, Java and
Ceylon in 1777-1778. Correspondent of
keeps sending from the Cape, “his paradise”. Never has a botanist given him greater pleasure. Thunberg has surpassed all his expectations. Linnaeus has to confess he has misjudged Thunberg, regarding him to be too guarded. He alone has achieved more than all other botanists together. Linnaeus has worked for a week now with these plants and it will take him a month more to finish them. He asks for complementary information about some species, for example no. 403, and the name of the fruit on the enclosed note, which Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
has received. He misses Thunbergia, which he ought to have in his collection [of plants], as he owns all genera determined by him.

Linnaeus thanks Thunberg for all the bulbs he has sent home. Half of them were in a good condition, half of them decayed. He hopes they will produce beautiful flowers. Then Linnaeus will demonstrate them in public and praise Thunberg’s merits.

Linnaeus asks Thunberg for seeds of Capensis, they should grew in the garden [the Uppsala University Botanical Garden]. A parcel is on its way from Paris by boat, probably the one from the Cape of Good Hope mentioned by Thunberg in his latest letter [presumably Thunberg to Linnaeus, 28 June 1773Letter L4851].

If Thunberg finds Chrysitrix, Linnaeus asks him to study its sex and its fruit; it is reminiscent of Sisyrinchium.

Linnaeus must finish his letter here because Lars MontinMontin, Lars (1723-1785).
Swedish. Physician and botanist. Studied
medicine in Uppsala under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein.
Provincial physician of the province of
Halland. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
tells him that the ships are about to set sail.


a. original holograph (UUB, 300, 478-478v).


1. Collectio epistolarum (1792), p. 83-84 .