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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Riksens Ständers Utskott och Deputationer, 13 May 1741 n.s.
Dated 1741 Maj. 2. Sent from Stockholm (Sweden) to ? (). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus writes to the Riksdag (parliamentary) committees [Riksens Ständers Utskott och DeputationerRiksens Ständers Utskott och
Swedish. The
Riksdag (parliamentary) committees.
] that he aims at demonstrating how useful plants best could be made known to people in Sweden.

Petersburg, Berlin, Breslau, Copenhagen, Nürnberg, Breda, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Chelsea in London, Paris and Rome have medical gardens where only plants used in pharmacist’s shops are grown. Public lectures are held in these gardens.

Most universities have botanical gardens with plants for the students to study. Linnaeus mentions University botanical gardens in Padua, Bologna, Pisa, Montpelleier, Oxford, Edinburgh, Leiden, Utrecht, Harderwijk, Groningen, Regensburg, Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Altdorff, Helmstadt, Wittenberg, Leipzig, Jena, Königsberg and Uppsala.

The necessity to learn about plants and the various ways in which they may be used is obvious.

This knowledge could easily be established with pharmacist’s and barber-surgeons if it was an obligation for their examination. That should also apply for medical doctors.

Pharmacist’s should be trained to recognize their plants in their natural surroundings.

Barber-surgeons should be taught to collect the plants they need where they grow in nature.

Botany as a science should generally be promoted.

Linnaeus continues to make a plea for botany and the necessity of having good and well kept botanical gardens at the universities.

In Uppsala there is an old University botanical garden, at the university of Lund a beautiful garden; at Åbo there is space enough, but Linnaeus is not informed if there are plants in the gardens or qualified teaching in botany.

All university education should contain some botany. Special steps, e.g. scholarships, should be taken to encourage students to take advanced botany courses.

In education and examination rather detailed knowledge about the plants, their name, feature, locality, how they can be cultivated, medical use, which parts can be used by chemist’s, drugs that can be made from them and their economical value.

Pine, fir. Linnaeus says it all right to know that the name is Pinus and not Abies and how it can be used in various ways. One must also learn the differences between pine, fir and “gårtall”. Knowledge should include where it best grows, its economical importance for the country and use in various trades. How to find the hard nucleus in the box-tree used by the laps for their bows and sleighs.

How bread can be made using bark from fir, how swine could be fed with it etc, etc.

Knowledge about useful plants is best provided by the universities and should be encouraged.


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1907), vol. I:1, p. 23-27   p.23  p.24  p.25  p.26  p.27.