Linnaeus at Dawyck

Strindberg said of Linnaeus that he “was in reality a poet who happened to become a naturalist.”
I concur. His system of taxonomy is pure poetry: visit Dawyck (or any botanic garden) to discover examples of his poetic namings.

There are persistent rumours that Linnaeus visited Dawyck and may have helped plant the European larch by Dynamo Pond in 1725. While a fine story, Linnaeus would have been 18 at that time, with his nose firmly in books: he “read day and night, knowing like the back of my hand, Arvidh Mansson’s Rydaholm Book of Herbs, Tillandz’s Flora Aboensis, Palmberg’s Serta Florea Suecana, Bromelii Chloros Gothica and Rudbeckii Hortus Upsaliensis.”
Not much time for travel. In fact his first recorded travel was to Lapland in 1732; but the larch is here and the first baronet certainly planted it (or had it planted, not quite the same thing) at Dawyck, where it remains to this day. Naesmyth was also a disciple of Linnaeus and certainly knew him.




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