image EL_L3_79_fig
Image number: RS.15808
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Observations of a fern


24 April 1705


Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 187mm
width (page): 177mm



Seven figures in a letter by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society.

Fig. 1: a larger part of a fern plant, named a leaf by Leeuwenhoek.
Fig. 2: represents a seed-capsule which had opened more than many other seed-capsules.
Fig. 3: three seeds through a magnifying glass.
Figs. 4 and 5: two more seeds more magnified.
Fig. 6: ABG represents the stalk, BCDEFG represents the seed-capsule, and EF designates the opening which this seed-capsule has to discharge its seed.
Fig. 7: HIM designates the stalk and by IKLM the seed-capsule is shown, in which the knot-like parts are turned away from us.

Object history

The Journal Book mentions on 9 May 1705, 'A Letter was Read from Mr Leeuwenhoeck concerning the Seeds of Polypodium' (JBO/11/71).

Printed in A. Leeuwenhoek, ‘Observations on the Seed-Vessels and Seeds of Polypodium’, Phil. Trans. vol. 24, no. 297 (March 1705), pp. 1868-74, figs 1-7.

Related Fellows

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723, Dutch), Naturalist

Associated place

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