Wrote Letter XXVIII of 1716-09-28 (AB 327) to Herman Boerhaave

September 28, 1716
Standard reference information
Cole's number: 
AB/CL number: 
AB/CL volume: 

Text of the letter in the original Dutch and in English translation in Alle de Brieven / The Collected Letters is not yet available at the DBNL - De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.

The original manuscript is lost.

How trees grow and withstand wind. Observations on the stem of the coconut palm and the vessels in its wood. Comparison to straw and sugar pears. Continuing his studies on generation in plants; . Description of the coconut tree’s nut, its pith and vessels, the milk, and the embryo. Benefits of coconut.

In this letter, Leeuwenhoek acknowledges previous errors

When I discovered a small opening in the small part, which is the pit that lies enclosed in the seed of the coconut and which I observed some years ago, I imagined that the trunk of the coconut tree had a cavity in the middle. But in the part of the said tree no opening at all is to be discerned, so that I have erred in my opinion.


This letter came with 18 figures. The original drawings have been lost. In Send-Brieven and Epistolae Physiologicae, figures 1-6 have been brought together on one plate facing p. 267 Send-Brieven and p. 260 Epistolae Physiologicae. Figures 7-10 face p. 271 Send-Brieven and p. 266 Epistolae Physiologicae. Figures 11-15 face p. 275 Send-Brieven and p. 270 Epistolae Physiologicae. Figures 16-18 face p. 279 Send-Brieven and p. 274 Epistolae Physiologicae.

In Hoole, the figures 1-17 are to be found as figs 1-17 on Plate VII.