To Joseph Decaisne   15 January 1858

Botanic Garden, Melbourne,

15 Jan. 1858

Much honored Sir.

I have to acknowledge your kind communication, dated 8. Oct. 1857,1 and am equally glad of my excellent friend Ramels prompt delivery of the few book parcels, and of your friendly acceptance of them. It will give me the greatest pleasure to communicate regularly hereafter my Colonial publications to such a great master in Botany as yourself, and I am very thankful for your kind promise of returning some brochures through M. Ramel.

I shall be most happy to supply the Cyperaceae, Desvauxieae Restionaceae, Xerotideae & Droseraceae for your garden, but Calectasia intermedia occurs only on one locality so far from Melbourne, that I can not promise with certainty to supply it soon.

I will endeavour to procure at an early period the palms from Moreton Bay, which you most considerately intend to introduce into Algeria.

Our mutual friend Sir William Hooker kindfully forwarded to His imperial Majesty a drawing of a new annual Josephinia with dissected leaves, which I discovered at the sources of the Victoria River in the interior of North Western Australia.2 This fine species I have ventured to dedicate humbly to her Majesty the Empress of France as Josephinia Eugeniae. Since you have taken some interest in this beautiful genus before, I do perhaps not solicit in vain to give publicity to the description of the species, which I forwarded together with the drawings, if communicated to you by her Majesty, and of which I beg to submit again a brief copy on this occasion.

Accept, my dear Professor, the expression of veneration for you from your

most humble servant

Ferd. Mueller.


Josephinia Eugeniae.

annua, erecta v. diffusa, pilis articulatis papulisque perminutis conspersa veil rarius tomentosa, foliis vel omnibus trisectis vel superioribus, rarius omnibus indivisis, segmentis oblongo- v. ovato-lanceolatis grasse dentatis vel lobulatis, calycis laciniis inaequalibus, stigmatis bifidi cruribus indivisis, nucibus echinatis rarius tuberculatis quadriloculatis hispidis v. tomentosis.

In collibus graminosis ad flumen Victoriae, ejus originem versus.3


I beg to enclose a fragment of Casuarina Decaisneana, the only species of Central Australia (lat 20° S.) It is a very characteristic tree, inhabiting the sand ridges of the Desert near Mount Mueller, very rare and deserves well to bear your celebrated name. I believe Sir W. Hooker published the detailed description, which I furnished, by this time.4

Through the French Consul, Comte de Chabrillon, I forwarded about 6 months ago a parcel of seeds (containing also those of Calectasia) to Paris. I left it to the Compte, wheather he would prefere to send them to the Emperors or any of the public gardens of your city.

Amongst the articles which I exhibited at the Paris exposition,5 were 26 parcels with botanical specimens, which I had destined after the close of the exhbition to be presented to the Linnean Society of Paris. If these were received I have never learnt. I shall gladly send a general collection of Australian seeds in the course of a few months7


Calectasia intermedia

Casuarina Decaisneana




Josephinia Eugeniae



Letter not found.
During the North Australian Exploring Expedition, 1855-6; illustrated as Josephinia eugeniae in B57.12.01.
For the fuller published version of this description see B57.12.01, p. 370.
Many MS sent by M to W. Hooker had not been pubished before Hooker's journal of botany and Kew Garden miscellany ceased publication in 1857. The species was published instead in B58.07.01, p. 61.
Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1855.
Or 3? The reading is uncertain.
MS annotation: 'repondu le 3 avril 1858' [replied 3 April 1858]. Letter not found.

Please cite as “FVM-58-01-15b,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 18 September 2021,