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During the 1740s, Carl Linnaeus introduced highly popular excursions into his teaching which he entitled Herbationes Upsalienses. These comprised an important pedagogical element of the training. The series of excursions concluded with a journey to Jumkil to study plants in the large forests and mosses including the remarkable Moor-king. The day before the woodland trail commenced, they would travel through Fjärdingstullen by horse and cart. The route for the Jumkil trail has been preserved in the oral tradition in Jumkil parish.
The company stayed overnight in the villages around Jumkil church and set out the following day on the miles of trail through the Jumkil forests. The medieval church is well worth a visit. Outside the church stands its red bell tower which dates from Linnaeus’s time, the mid-18th Century.
This was where Linnaeus and his students reached the edge of the forest and were able to start collecting the various woodland plants. A little way into the wood, they reached a spring and could quench their thirst. You can still find linnea here, a species which proves that no felling has taken place in the forest in living memory.
There is an ancient castle here and growing in the surrounding rocky tracts, an old lichen-rich forest in the form of both vertical growth and hunched pines. The oldest are over 200 years old and there are many desiccated and windfallen trees. Presumably, like today’s ramblers, Linnaeus found an excellent place for resting as well as for studying mosses and lichens.
In the major marsh system known as ”Jumkilskärren”, the company found plants such as sundew, bog-sedge and the amazing Moor-king between the tussocks of white moss. In this waterlogged area, they reached the objective of their entire excursion. The marsh was later drained, but Långmossen has been damned up again, so we can get a sense of how wet this terrain was in the 18th century.
Professor Linnaeus’s annual visit to Jumkil must have been a major event for the local residents and left its mark by naming this place Studentvilan [Student’s rest]. Today, it is not entirely certain how the students continued from here. There are accounts stating that they both retraced their entire journey and that they continued to Lingonbacka or Granslätt where they were collected for the return journey to Uppsala. What we do know is that upon arriving back at the city, the tireless Linnaeus continued the excursion by showing plants on streets and in backyards.