Letter 4550

Dr. Hans Sloane to Mr. John Ray – Dec. 20, 1684


Item info

Date: Dec. 20, 1684
Author: Dr. Hans Sloane
Recipient: Mr. John Ray

Library: The Correspondence of John Ray: Consisting of Selections from the Philosophical Letters Published by DR. Derham and Original Letters of John Ray, in the Collection of the British Museum
Manuscript: The Correspondence of John Ray: Consisting of Selections from the Philosophical Letters Published by DR. Derham and Original Letters of John Ray, in the Collection of the British Museum
Folio: pp. 158 - 159



Original Page



Transcription

SIR,-The Fungus Campaniformis niger multa Sem.

plan. in se continens¬†of Merrett’s Pinax [Nidularia cam-

panulata, With.], grows plentifully here in several places

in London, and seems to me very pretty in the contriv-

ance of the seed; for within the cup of the fungus, which

is like a bell, or rather the top of Muscus Pysoides, or

Pixidatus Ger. [Scyphophorus], there lies several seeds

fastened to the bottom of the cup by means of a very

small thread, or fibril, which I suppose might bring

the sap from the root to the seed: it has but a small

root, and usually comes out in a round white tumour from

old wood, which serves to keep up the sides of borders;

the rain falling into this cup, and filling it, the seeds are

heaved up and washed over, and sow themselves. Per-

haps this Fungus may have a near affinity with the common

Muscus Pixidatus, and this may have some seed too. This

Fungus is figured by Menzelius in his description of some

plants in several places of Germany. Its name, or what

he says of it, I do not now remember, not having the

book by me. If you have not taken notice of this Muscus

or Fungus, I will observe it more narrowly and send you

its history. Yesterday I was at Chelsea Garden to see

how the plants were preserved there this cold weather,

and found that in the daytime they put no fire into

their furnaces, and that in the night they not only put in

some fire, but cover the windows where they stand with

pitched canvas, taking this off and opening them as much

as the air or wind permits. There is now in flower the Se-

dum arboresc. [Sempervivum arboretum, Linn.] This is the

fourth year of its age; it is in a pot, and has continued

flowering for this four months, and is very pleasant. Mr.

Watts expects to have Aloe this year in flower, it being

already set for it. He has several myrtles not described,

a fine amaranthus, of a crimson colour, which comes from

the East Indies, and some fine Cyclamini. When I shall

have the happiness to peruse what you have, or are a

writing on any of the tribes, if I shall have observed

anything concerning them not mentioned therein, I shall

not fail to give you an account.

There is a vast number of East and West India seeds

come over this year; among the rest, great store of Pisum

arborescens, all the sorts of the Abrus, Tea, &c. Of all

which there are great expectations, and as they come to

perfection you may expect from me an account of them

* * * *

London, Dec. 20, 1684

Edwin Lankester, ed. The Correspondence of John Ray: Consisting of Selections from the Philosophical Letters Published by Dr. Derham, and original letters of John Ray in the Collection of the British Museum (London: Printed for the Ray Society, 1848), pp. 158 – 159.

Letter destination presumed as Black Notley as Ray’s location in his prior and letter and response to Sloane is Black Notley. Ray was also considered not to have left Black Notley after 1679.




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