Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Loefling, Peter

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LOEFLING, Peter, Spanish-American botanist, b. in Tollsforsbro, Sweden, 31 Jan., 1729; d. in the mission of Amaracure, South America, 22 Feb., 1756. He was a pupil of Linnæus, and, when the Spanish ambassador requested the latter to select a botanist for service in the American colonies, the professor at once named Loefling, who left Stockholm in 1751. He remained two years in Spain, and then embarked with other scientists for South America in February, 1754. He had entire charge of the department of natural history, and was assisted by two young Spanish doctors. His premature death was considered a great loss to natural history, and especially to botany. Linnæus believed the loss irreparable. The manuscripts of Loefling, which were found after his death, were preserved by his two assistants. The work that gives an account of his scientific labors in Spanish America is entitled “Iter hispanicum” (Stockholm, 1758; Swedish translation by Linnæus; German translation by Kolpin, Berlin, 1766; English translation by J. G. A. Forster, 1771). Linnæus gave the name Loeflingia to a plant of the caryophillaceous family, one species of which grows in Spain and the other in Spanish America.