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Das Dokument enthält Robert Browns Antworten auf einen wohl Ende 1816 in Paris verfassten Fragenkatalog Humboldts zur Pflanzengeographie. Die zahlreichen Bearbeitungsspuren Humboldts in Form von Notizen und angeklebten Zetteln belegen eine immer wieder aufgenommene, mindestens bis in die späten 1840er Jahre reichende Beschäftigung mit diesem Manuskript.

Aufgeklebte Notiz des Empfängers (am linken Rand) | 5rBrown m’a dit que le Goodenia littoralis
de la Nouv Holl. a été décrit
par Cavanilles (Sellière) de l’Amérique
(la même espèce)[.] Il y a de
vrais Wintera à la Nouv Zéel[.]
Voyez   Brown 1814.
p 57. | 5v leer (1 Seite) [...]

| 6rAnswers to Baron A. Humboldt’s queries
on Botanical Geography.

Anmerkung des Empfängers (innerhalb der Zeile)par Mr Brown

 N 1. I have no reason to believe that any
species of Pinus is found in the Southern

– 2[.] The Araucaria of Brazil (no doubt the
Pino of the inhabitants) of which we have
seeds and specimens with young female aments,
appears to be the same as that of Chili.. [sic]

– 3[.] There are at least two species of Pinus
in India. P. longifolia of Roxb. & Lambert,
and P. Deodwara of Roxbs.  Eine erste Edition der Flora Indica gab William Carey zwischen 1820 und 1824 heraus (Roxburgh/Carey/Wallich 1820-1824).
unpublished flora indica
which is nearly allied to P. Cedrus.. [sic]

Neither of them are known to grow within the
tropic.. [sic] of P. longifolia[.] Roxburgh says that it
is found among the mountains of Nepaul and
on those north of the plains of Benghal, Oude &c[.]
P. Deodwara is a native of the mountains
North of Rohilcund [.]

– 4[.] I possess no correct information concerning
the Pines of Thibet nor even of those of China
except Pinus Massoniana of Lambert, of which

| 6vthere are specimens in Sir Joseph Banks’s Herbarium
from Danes Island near Canton.

– 5[.] Pinus occidentalis is not native of Jamaica.
the only specimens in Sir Joseph Banks’ Herbarium
are a branch without fructification from Dr. Swadtz
and two cones lately received from Hispaniola.
of these I send one for your inspection begging it
may be return'd by M. Von Buch.

6. I have no means of answering this query there
being no Japanese specimens of the genus Pinus
here. it is however I think quite as likely that
Thunberg may be mistaken as correct on this
subject.. [sic] & it is not unlikely that P. Massoniana
may be his sylvestris.

– 7[.] Dr Roxburgh. (in flora indica inedita) regards his
Cactus indicus as distinct from cochinelli-
fer and Opuntia and believes it (chiefly from
information of its being very general. and from
its having a native name) to be indigenous
in India: of the probability of this I have
no good means of judging. but it appears
somewhat unfavourable to the opinion that
there is no Sanscrit name for the plant[.]

In the same work Dr Roxburgh has also
a second species from China which he considers
new and which indeed both from his description
and figure may very well be distinct from Aufgeklebte Notiz des Empfängers (am linken Rand) | 7vPlantes socciales [sic] M Brown dans un célèbre mémoire sur
les Protéacées  Brown 1810, 23: „The celebrated traveller Humboldt is the first who has expressly pointed out a remarkable difference in the distribution of the species of plants. He observes that, while the greater number grow irregularly scattered and mixed with each other, there are some which form considerable masses, or even extensive tracts, to the nearly absolute exclusion of other species.“
(Tr. of the Lin Soc.
Vol 10 P. I (1810) p 20
adopte mon idée des  am unteren Rand⎡plantes sociales et ajoute que celles que
l'on trouve sous les tropiques ne se trouvent
presque qu'à de grandes haut. ou sur les
côtes. Protéacées sociales bloß Protea
angustea et P mellifera (Afrika) u
Banksia speciosa (New Holl
Les Protéac. presque exclusives à l'hémisph
austral surtout aux grandes îles (Nouv. Holl.
Nouv Zéel.)[,] pas les petites,  am linken Rand⎡pas de  über den ursprünglichen Text geschriebenà
[,] moins les Continens[,]
ceux de l'Amér ressemblans plus à celles
de la Nou. Holl qu'à celles de l'Afrique[.]
La [sic] plus grandes masses sous les 30– 70°  innerhalb der Zeile36° [,] Anmerkung des Empfängers (am linken Rand)⎡Banksia inte
grifolia Seepflan
ze bis 40 lat
lat Sud. Grevillea. Hakea. Banksia Protea  innerhalb der ZeilePersoonia [.]
À la Nouv. Holl. plus au Sudouest qu'à
l'est. Östl mehr Afrika unter der ZeileAmerik , westl mehr afrik ähnlich [sic]. Gehen in Tropen bis höchste Berge[.]
tournez | 7r Brown bemerkt daß so wie ich Embotr. [sic] emarginat  über der Zeile(Oreocallis grandifl.) bei Cuenca
so hoch gefunden, so auch er in Van Diemen Embothr.
bis 4000 engl Fuß hoch[.]
Nur 2 gen. gemeinschaftl den Continenten, ein
nördliches Genus Rhopala in Am.[,] Cochinchine u
Malayisches Archipel. u Embothr der  innerhalb der Zeiledas südlichste
genus Am. u Neu Holland.
Lieben Seenähe, trokne sandige Klippen[,]
daher wohl selten Orinoco. wenige Salzige Sümpfe von
Embothr ferrug. Cavanilles.
Nach Brown in Amer 2 ächte Embotr.
nemlich E. coccineum Forst tierra del fuego u E lan
ceolatum Flor Per. Concepcion de Chili u 3  innerhalb der Zeile1. species Oreo
callides nemlich: O grandiflora (Emb. grand. Lamarck)
ou Emb. emarginat. Flor. Per in [collibus] frigidis Tarmi [sic]
u 10 Spec Rhopala Amer. R.  innerhalb der Zeilein Amer. Rh. montana,
R media[,] R nitida  am linken RandR. peru
viana (Emb
Flor Per.)
lezte in mont frig
: in Molukken Rh. moluccana  am linken RandR serrata: in Cochin
Rh. cochinchin[.]

| 8rcochinellifer and opuntia to which it most
nearly approaches. This plant it appears
is now growing in the Island of St. Helena.

– 8[.] I know of no approach to American
vegetation in the Azores. but we know
very little of the Botany of these Islands[.]
It is remarkable that Erica vulgaris should
be a common plant on the hills of St. Miguel.

– 9[.] On the subject of the taste of recent Tabasheer
I may refer you to Dr Russels   Russell 1790.
Philosoph. Transact. vol. 80. p. 274 & seq. where
he says that in a semifluid state it had a
slight saline subastringent [sic] taste: that the resi-
duum had a pretty strong saline taste with less
astringency. the substance in a more inspissated
state had a sharp salt taste which it loses in a great
degree by keeping.

Tabasheer was produced in the Hothouse of Dr
in a solid state. the taste of this pebble
is not mention'd.

– 10[.] I have no correct information to give on
the subject of this query.

– 11. None of the plants mention'd in this query
are known to me as natives of Northern India.
In Mr Saunders’s   Saunders 1789.
published in Philos: Trans. Vol. 79 [sic]
| 8vVol. 79 and in the appendix to Turner’s  Turner 1800.

many European plants are mention'd as natives
of that country. among these are Vaccinium
Myrtillus and V. oxycoccus.. [sic] Arbutus Uva ursi
and what is more remarkable still an Erica
of which the specific name is not given but
he can hardly have been mistaken in the genus.

– 12[.] Many european plants are noticed
by Thunberg as natives of South Africa and
of several of these, at least, there seems to be no
reason to doubt. I have myself found at
the Cape Samolus Valerandi and Corrigiola littoralis.

– 13. There appears to me no reason to doubt
Quercus molucca's from which the
Linnean species so called was established, being
really a Quercus. altho' Commerson has consider'd
it as more probably a Laurus.. [sic] In Sir Joseph
Herbarium there is more than one
species of the genus from Sumatra, and one
from Java.

 Humboldt vergibt die Nummer 13 in seinem Fragenkatalog versehentlich doppelt. Brown führt die Zählung in seinen Antworten allerdings lückenlos fort. Im Folgenden beziehen sich also Browns Antwort 14 auf Humboldts Frage 13[b] (“Plantes communes aux tropiques...“), Browns Antwort 15 auf Humboldts Frage 14 usf.
I entertain myself no doubt that there are
many plants common to the aequinoctial
regions of both Continents: with respect
to the plants mention'd in your query
Aufgeklebte Notiz des Empfängers (am linken Rand) | 9r Ausser Tierra del Fuego wo 33 engl
Pflanzen sind ist es falsch dass
analoge Klimate gleiche Pflanzen
hervorbringen[,] lies  Ross 1847, II, 302: “The naturalist who first visited the Fuegian shores felt probably only disappointment when recognising the familiar genera and representative species of his European home: he would naturally infer, with a corresponding diminution of interest, that analogous latitudes produce an analogous vegetation in opposite hemispheres. Experience has proved the fallacy of such a conclusion; and accordingly the Flora of Fuegia claims an additional and peculiar charm, in its being the only region south of the tropics where the botany of our temperate zone is, as it were, repeated to a very considerable extent.”
in Ross Reise  innerhalb der ZeileVoyage T II p 302
. | 9v leer (1 Seite) [...]

| 10r the specimens here are too imperfect to determine
the point. but I subjoin a list of those I consider
the best ascertain'd[.] Anmerkung des Empfängers (am linken Rand)Plantes communes aux Rég. tropicales
de l'ancien et nouv.Continent[.]


  • Pteris pedata. Linn .
  • Psilotum nudum  innerhalb der Zeiletriquetrum Swadtz.
  • Lycopodium cernuum. Linn.



  • Avicennia tomentosa
  • Herpestis Monniera. = gratiola Monnieria
  • Sphenoclea zeylanica
  • Ipomoea Pes-caprae
  • Scoparia Dulcis
  • Sonchus oleraceus.
  • Oxalis corniculata
  • Cardiospermum Haliocacabum
  • Suriana Maritima
  • Sophora tomentosa Anmerkung des Empfängers (am rechten Rand)Samolus Valerandi
    u Corri-
    giola litt
    fand Brown
    am Cap.
    MSS n 12[,]
    auch Gou-
    denia [sic]
    Neu Holl
    mit süd-

    von Cavan

| 10v – 15. To answer this query it is necessary to go
a little into the history of the two plants mention'd
in it.

1st Asplenium monanthemum. Linn.
Linneus by whom the species was established had his
plant from Prom. b. spei and it is figur'd in Smith's
 Smith 1789–1791, Fasc. III.
icones ined. 73
.. [sic] This plant I have gathered at the
Cape of Good Hope. the additional loci natalis
of „Insulae Philipp. Marian. Peru & Nova Hispania
in Swadtz  Swartz 1806, 80.
& Willd.  Linné/Willdenow 1797-1830, 322–323.
are first given by
Cavanilles in his   Cavanilles 1802.
demonst. . [sic] 1801
p. 258. on the authority
of Nee's Herbarium and probably adopted by these
authors without consideration.

In Herb. Banks. there is no american species
approaching to monanthemum. there is one however
from the Sandwich Islands nearly related to it which
may very likely be the plant of the Phillippine & Mariane
. The evidence of either this or of true monan-
being american does not appear to me

2d Asplenium [sic] punctulatum Willd.  Linné/Willdenow 1797-1830.
5 p. 220.
is first established by Swadtz in  Swartz 1806, 46; 245.
syn. fil.
from the Sierra Leone plant which it appears he had
from Afzelius. Though the specific name be taken
from Plumier: l. c.[.] I am inclin'd to think Swadtz
has no west India specimen of his punctulatum & if so
its being american therefore will depend on the correct-
ness of his reference. in my opinion a very slender
foundation for identity of species in that tribe or
| 11r section of Nephrodium to which it belongs.

–16[.] I have not yet looked into Strabo Rhizo-
phora Mangle.

–17[.] No Rosa I believe is known to exist in
the Southern hemisphere. Nor is our other national
genus. Carduus.

–18[.] I have nothing satisfactory to say on this

–19[.] I have nothing to add to what I have
formerly said on this subject in my General
remarks &c.

–20[.] At present we know little or nothing of the
vegetation of the Galapagoes.

–21. To this I have only to repeat what I have
said respecting 19.

–22[.] In answer to this query I subjoin a
list of plants common to the temperate and
torrid zones of both hemispheres.. [sic]

Rocc  unter der ZeileAcotyledones

  • Roccella fuciformis.
  • Sticta crocata        }  Achar. lichenogr.
  • Stereocaulon paschalis
  • | 11v
  • Psilotum triquetrum.

Anmerkung des Empfängers (am linken Rand)Plantes
à la Zone équinox
et tempérée
Anmerkung des Empfängers (am rechten Rand)!!
Viel allgemeines
über Verbreit. gewisser
Spec. S. in meiner Humboldt 1816-1831.

Rel. hist. livre 4 Chap 13
éd 8vo
T 4 p. 226–



  • Verbena officinalis
  • Oxalis corniculata
  • Solanum nigrum
  • Sigesbechia orientalis.
  • Sonchus oleraceus

Anmerkung des Empfängers (am linken Rand)Potentille anserina fast
in der ganzen
Welt  Hooker, J. D. 1840–1860, I.
p 264[.]
Schleiden nennt
Bellis perennis
(  Schleiden 1848.
p 91) und 237
u will auch sie
sei überall[.]

Anmerkung des Empfängers (am linken Rand)Pfl. die
sich ersezen  Hooker, J. D. 1844–1860, I.

p 230[.]

Anmerkung des Empfängers (am unteren Rand)

 am rechten Rand


Brown, Robert: Answers to Baron A. Humboldt’s queries on Botanical Geography (London, Ende 1816?), hg. v. Ulrich Päßler unter Mitarbeit von Ingo Schwarz. In: edition humboldt digital, hg. v. Ottmar Ette. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin. Version 3 vom 14.09.2018. URL: https://edition-humboldt.de/v3/H0015188


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