Tuesday, 27 October 2015

2002 The history of botany in Moscow and Russia in the 18th and early 19th centuries in the context of the Linnaean Collection at Moscow University (MW)

Huntia. 2002;11(2):129-91.


The Herbarium of Moscow State University, Russia, possesses a relatively small (63 specimens), but historically interesting, collection of herbarium specimens linked with Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Some of these originally formed part of Linnaeus' own herbarium while others, although never his property, were nevertheless studied by him and may be original material for the typification of his plant names. This paper discusses the broad historical background to the gathering of these specimens, their study by Linnaeus and their subsequent fate. Specimens linked with Linnaeus have been encountered in each of the four largest historical collections of the Herbarium of Moscow State University, i. e., in the herbaria of J. F. Ehrhart, G. F. Hoffmann, C. B. von Trinius and C. L. Goldbach. Ehrhart's General Herbarium contains 31 sheets, which were more or less certainly collected or studied by Linnaeus. Ehrhart, a pupil of Linnaeus, received some specimens directly from the latter, while others came to him from Linnaeus filius, A. Dahl, and P. J. Bergius. Ehrhart's collections were purchased by G. F. Hoffmann, later, the first head of the Department of Botany at Moscow University, who took them to Russia. Hoffmann's General Herbarium contains three specimens that may be connected with Linnaeus. They were received from C. P. Thunberg, J. A. Murray, and an unknown person, respectively. At least five specimens from Trinius' collection, although certainly never seen by Linnaeus, are probable duplicates of material that was studied by him. Some of them are almost certainly iso-lectotypes of Linnaean names. Finally, 24 specimens linked with Linnaeus were found in Goldbach's herbarium. The majority of them were collected in the Lower Volga Region by J. Lerche and during the Second Kamchatka Expedition (Great Northern Expedition) by J. G. Gmelin and G. W. Steller.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]