From Charles Stuart1    10 April 1850

Woodhall2 10th April 1850

My dear Sir,

I have much pleasure in informing you that I have today forwarded you a box of specimens according to my promise in last letter, which hope will arrive safe I am more anxious on this occasion that they should reach you in safety as they are the fruit of my last journey to the eastword and contain many things I could not easily obtain at least without much trouble for one in my situation — you will also find at the bottom of the box a lot of kitchen garden seeds, which are all of my own saving & therefore true to their kinds, which is a great object in a colony like yours, there are also a lot of other seeds — perennial annual &c — which may be of use either to you or friends, also some first rate Tulips last year from England, — The Algae will I think serve you for some time as I have sent plenty of specimens of nearly all the kinds — as far as I could discern without the aid of a glass — but that is a branch of Botany of which I must confess my incompetence to speak — but if after examination you would favor me with any that you may determine & can spare (without deducting them from any more valuable correspondent in this line) I should feel obliged —

depend on it that I shall neglect no opportunity of serving you to the utmost of my ability in that department as in any other — I believe I mentioned in my last that when you have time & are sending — that I should prefer specimens of N. Holland plants to seeds, — my reason is that the employer with whom I now am is not of a very liberal mind and hardly thanks me for taking the trouble to raise seeds, so that I shall decline it for the future whilst specimens I can retain in my own possession — in fact it is not unlikely that before long I may change my residence but of which I shall give you due notice, I will mention a few plants of which I should like specimens — if to spare, you will find the list of such in the box — you will likewise find a few specimens of plants from different parts of the world which we have growing in the garden here & which may interest you. I am sorry I am quite unable to send you seeds of Indigenous plants of VDL,3 as the time for gathering them occurs when I am unable to leave my employ[.]4 You will however find a few, — Will you inform me what order Cheiranthera is placed in — I thought by its capsule it was in Pittosporae but no? — I intend this winter evenings to go over the whole of the specimens I have with the aid of the Prodromus & G Dons work5 which latter is very good as far as it goes (Labiatae) & is in a great measure filled up by Brown — I have observed that the Prodromus is uniformly printed on such very inferior paper & unfinished, can you tell me how is this? — or is there any remaining part published, I have got it bound with more spare leaves, in which I will write an Index &c — I am glad to hear that you have so complete a set of books, and I think that many corrections will be the result

I saw Mr Newman the Superintendant of the Botanic Garden at Hobart Town a few days back who has promised to send me some specimens from that side of the Island he knows but little of plants but hope he will be faithful to his promise, for I have been so often deceived in this by people here that I am very doubtful of all, — you will find on the top of the box a plant (Compositae) which I got at Kangaroo Island6 which I can make nothing of these specimens from seed I got there it forms a scrub close to the Sea Shore and has a very powerful smell, I wish I had more time when there but was only about half an hour on shore as the vessel was only waiting for a wind — I did not see much strange vegetation near the coast chiefly consisting of this plant (Compositae) Bursaria spinosa & a species of Melaleuca not in flower — but I was told there were some strange things to be found inland — I saw much algae — the Swainsonia is I think different from any I have seen — you will find seeds of it in the box, very beautiful sp. growing in the sand close to the salt water (Kangaroo Island)

I do not think the Meionectes exists any where within my reach I never saw it in a living state, there is also another plant Milligania (Halorageae) which I will send you by & bye — I thought Tetracarpea7 was in Saxifrageae or Cunonaceae — There is also Melaleuca squamata8 I must not forget & many others, when opportunity serves, Archer9 promised me to send me some plants from his neighborhood but has failed — I shall not ask him a second time — I will get them myself yet I hope — I have 2 or 300 more in anticipation for you next year — Brown says the Alyxia buxifolia grows in VDL. I have not seen it but will look out in my next trip to the coast, also for Salsolaceous plants

I will these winter evenings look over the numbers & forward you any additional information respecting them which may occur to me — at present my time will not admit, what a pity it is my dear Sir that our purses will not keep pace with our wishes in this interesting pursuit, & how few are the patrons he[re]10 who, with a trifling liberality could lay open the beautiful stores of Nature — but it is difficult to impress this doc[trine] on those whose pursuit is alone Wealth.

do not fail to write me a few lines acknowleding the receipt of this as it will remove uneasiness, direct as usual[.]11 We have just received a case of living plants from Sydney containing a number of new plants imported to there from Europe such as Gesnera — Habrothamnus Cryptomiria12 — Hastingia &c &c — with some not named from interior of N. Holland13 — as they flower I hope to forward specimens — the Seedlings from Swan River are getting on well & one Trichinium or Ptilotus? I send you now in flower — the only one of your South Americans which has yet flowered is the Solanum ciliatum — have you any idea what sp. of Passiflora it is amongst them — they are not easy to distinguish except when in flower — and now my dear Dr Muller I must conclude with wishing you every success and believe me to be

Yours Sincerely

Charles Stuart


P.S. I have only just time to say that I have just received your last letter today of Mar. 24th14 and hasten to despatch this without any further comment on it as I am in much haste & the Peri sails tomorrow

The box will go pr brig Peri to Adelaide


Alyxia buxifolia

Bursaria spinosa












Melaleuca squamata






Solanum ciliatum




MS envelope front: 'Dr Ferdd Müller | care of Messrs Büttner & Heuzenroeder | Chemists & Druggists | Rundle Street | Adelaide'. Front post-marked Launceston, 5 April 1850, and GPO, South Australia, 24 April 1850.
Van Diemen's Land.
editorial addition.
Brown (1810); Don (1831-8).
Melaleuca squamea?
William Archer.
Paper damaged.
editorial addition.
The Australian mainland.
Letter not found.

Please cite as “FVM-50-04-10,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 6 December 2021,