Picture of a herbarium sheet from Linnaeus
Example of a herbarium sheet from Linnaeus. Cick on the image for fullsize version.

Some of these Bergius probably got from Linnaeus while still a student at Uppsala. As shown by their correspondence, Bergius and Linnaeus later sent plants to each other. Several of the plants are typical specimens, which lends them a great scientific value.

After Linnaeus’s death, his youngest son inherited all correspondence, manuscripts, books and herbaria. When he died, all of it was passed on to his mother, Sara Moraea. Owing to lack of money she then sold the collection to an English medical student named Smith. He took part in the foundation of the Linnaean Society where the collection is kept
today. This meant that a great Swedish scientific and cultural treasure was lost to the country. Nevertheless, some Linnaean collections are still left within the country today, mainly at Uppsala University and Naturhistoriska riksmuseet in Stockholm, but also in the Bergius Herbarium at the Bergius Botanic Garden.

In an article by Robert E. Fries in Bergii Herbarium (the Swedish Linnaean Socitey’s annual, 1935), there is a categorisation of the plants associated with Linnaeus in the Bergius Herbarium. According to Fries there are three categories of plants related to Linnaeus:

  1. Specimens with names written down by Linnaeus himself, or with other notes made with his own hand. 82 specimens, 79 different species. Some of them are known as types. The specimens are all in good shape and fully usable for investigation or classification.
  2. Specimens which undoubtedly belonged to Linnaeus, but lacking his signature. These sheets were offered as gifts or used as trade-ins with other plant gatherers, and there are reliable notes by the recipient about the origin, or other signs confirming the link to Linnaeus. 28 specimens.
  3. Plants gathered in the botanical garden at Uppsala during Linnaeus’s time, 218 specimens. Their significance is merely historical and may contribute to the knowledge of the plants that were grown in the Linnaean garden in the centre of Uppsala.