To Joseph Decaisne   15 February 1858

Melbourne bot Garden

15 Febr. 1958.

Much esteemed Sir

Being extremely anxious to extend the contributions for this garden for mutual exchange to all the principle gardens of the world, I take the liberty of forwarding to you a parcel of Australian seeds with the solicitation of returning to us seeds of such trees & shrubs as are likely to succeed without protection to grow in our climate. Particularly the plants of the shores of the Mediterranean Sea would be highly acceptable, very few of which are in our possession.

I shall endeavour to make up for your Government a collection of seeds of such plants, as would be desirable for introduction into Algeria, where the climate is so similar to ours.

I beg to enclose a fragment of Marsdenia? ceratostigma n. sp. from Moreton Bay with my desire of benefitting from your unrivalled knowledge of Asclepiadeae, and I hope you will kindfully inform me, whether it ought to be considered as a new genus (ranking between Stephanotis & Marsdenia) for which the name Arotostigma might be applied.1

Also I have the honor to enclose a fragment of Rhyncharrhena (n.g.) atropurpurea, a plant of extreme scarcity, discovered in Eastern tropical Australia during Mr Gregory's expedition,2 and of which on the place of discovery the bye-following notes (without application of the miscroscope) were made. Both these plants are not yet published3 nor a second species of Microstemma from N. W. Australia4 and other [new] asclepiadeae, which I gladly will send for your scrutiny if desired.

I did myself the honor of writing a reply to your extremely kind letter by the last mail and sincerely wish, that I may often yet be honored with a communication from so great a savant as your self.

Most humbly


Ferd. Mueller


Prof. Decaisne, Ph. D.,

&c &c &c


The seeds are forwarded by favor of Count Chabrillon, who is on his voyage to Europe.


Rhyncharrhena atropurpura. 5

Herba volubilis pluripedalis non lactescens, glabra. Caules tenues tenaces, teretes sub epidermati alba fibrosi obscure striolati punctulati. Folia opposita linearia acuta subsessilia 1 1/2-2 1/2" longa, ab margines revolutos tantum 1-1 1/2'" lata, nerva crasso subtus prominente supra impresso prominente supra impresso pracdita. Umbellae semi-compositae interpetiolares, speciales 3-6-florae, rarius iterum compositae & tunc inflores centrain umbellato-paniculatam praebentes. Pedunculi prisnarii 1/2-1" longi. Pedicelli pedunculis tenuiores filiformes uncialis vil breviores paulo inaequales. Bracteolae pedicellis nu nuroaequales ad eorum basin sitae lineares 1-1 1/2 '" longae ciliatae. Calycis subglabri quinquepartite laciniae lanceolatae lineam longae. Corolla custivatione valvata late campanulata 4-6'" longa, extus e viridi purpurascens, intus atropurpurea, quinquefida, lacimis patentibus lanceolatis acutis dextrorsum apice revolutis et him dextro versum barbatis, basi subviridi, praeter apicem amnino glabra. Corona staminea et squamae faucis nullae. Genitalia 1'" paulo excedentia. Filamenta in discum brevem abtuse 5-lobum connata. Antherae atropurpureae rostro nigricante recurvo brevitae mucronate terminatae, corollae laciniis alternae. Stigma abtusum. Folliculi 2 1/2" cirvitir longi cylindracei basi perparum attenuati obtusi, apice (hand sempur forsan), in rostrum breve pamatum producti, laeves solitarii. Pemina numerosa apice coniosa.

Genus Athnandae forscum praximum.




Marsdenia ceratostigma


Rhyncharrhena atropurpurea


M did not describe a species of Asclepediadaceae from Moreton Bay (APNI).
North Australian Exploring Expedition, 1855-6.
M published R. atropurpurea in B59.04.04, p. 128.
Presumably M. glabriflorum, B57.07.01, p. 58.
MS annotation above this description: aranjia albens ou physianthus albens.

Please cite as “FVM-58-02-15c,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 18 September 2021,