William Roxburgh, Calcutta, [Bengal, India], to James Edward Smith

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Ref No GB-110/JES/COR/8/107
Title William Roxburgh, Calcutta, [Bengal, India], to James Edward Smith
Letter date 27 Dec 1794
Author(s) William Roxburgh 1751-1815
Number of Pages 4

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GB-110/JES/COR/8/107 from William Roxburgh, Calcutta, [Bengal, India], to James Edward Smith (27 December 1794)

Metadata for GB-110/JES/COR/8/107 from William Roxburgh, Calcutta, [Bengal, India], to James Edward Smith (27 December 1794) Close

Item data

Item Type: Document
From: Roxburgh, William
Sent from: Calcutta, India
To: Smith, Sir James Edward

Received Smith's letter of 16 December 1793 and letter and potato seeds from Mr Molesworth, none of them grew. Thanks for observations on the three 'Indigofera' plants, was uncertain about his 'Indigofera caeralia' ['Indigofera caerulea'?], comments that the seeds "vegetate" with difficulty which may prevent it being universally cultivated. Has sent Smith two capsules of 'Dillenia indica' and seeds of 53 species including 'Flemingia', shall send later 'Dillenia' flowers preserved in spirits. Sending 400 drawings, including 200 grasses, to the Directors [of the East India Company], wants Smith to point out any errors in them. Disappointed by his failure to grow 'Lythrum' as they do not have it but says 'Flemingia' is much more elegant. [John] Fleming [(1747-1829)], the East India Company's Surgeon-General, is a skilled botanist. Brief description of 'Jonesia', will send a full description if it is suitable for Smith's "Icones Pictae".
Has obtained seeds of 'Ipomaea grandiflora', the 'Munda-valli' of "Hortus Malabaricus"; Gaertner incorrect thinking it 'Bona-nox' which is Roxburgh's 'Ipomaea bona-nox', both are in Roxburgh's drawings numbers 567 and 568. Has procured living plants of Sir William Jones' 'Jatamansi', the real 'Spikenard': Jones concluded it was a 'Valerian' from the imperfect description he worked from; recommends Garcias ab Hotor's figure; believes Jones' plant is the 'Spikenard' of the ancients. Has been promised plants of 'Andropogon', a "medicine of repute of these countries", which Dr Blane took for the 'Spikenard'.
Several of the plant names have crosses next to them and some plant names are underlined in pencil.

Letter date: 27 Dec 1794
Languages: English
Prev Ref No: 8.192
Additional Information:
Note typeNote
Related MaterialSee Smith herbarium for two 'Dillenia indica' specimens from Roxburgh acquired 1797, Savage numbers 0976.1 and 0976.2. Roxburgh sent another letter on 27 December 1794 accompanying seeds sent after those mentioned in this letter, see JES/COR/8/108. Smith, J E, (1790-1793). Icones pictae plantarum rariorum descriptionibus et observationibus illustratae auctore Jacobo Edvardo Smith. - Coloured figures of rare plants ... London: [privately]. Rheede Tot Draakestein, H A V et al, (1678-1703). "Hortus Indicus Malabaricus ..."Amstelodami: Joannis van Someren et Joannis van Dyck, 12 vols. Jones, W, 'Additional observations on the 'Spikenard' of the Ancients', "Asiatic Researches; or Transactions of the Society in Bengal", 1807 4, pp.97-108, 4th edition; available on GoogleBooks. Sir William Jones and William Roxburgh's papers on 'Spikenard' for "Asiatic Researches" are printed in Jones, W, (1799). "The works of Sir William Jones." London: Robinson.
Publn NoteSmith, P (ed.), (1832). "Memoir and correspondence of... Sir James Edward Smith" London: Longman, vol 1, pp.411-412; only the latter sections of this letter relating to 'Ipomaea grandiflora' and 'Spikenard' are printed.