To William Hooker   25 August 1860

Melbourne bot. & zool. Garden,

25 Aug 60

My dear Sir William.

I enclose a few pages of my flora1 again and a few plates, also Fragmenta XIII2 with curious things. In a careful investigation of the Australian plants many curious facts became unveiled. Thus I find that Roepera aurantiaca Ldl constitutes only the desert-form of the normal coast variety of Zygophyllum (fabagifolium) fruticulosum. I have examined Stylobasium carefully & refer it from Chrysobalaneae to Phytolacceae. I have also received seeds of Brachychitongregorii from Sharks Bay3 & find that I was quite correctly anticipating its generic position.4

Do you not think, that it would be preferable to refer Nitraria to Zygophylleae & does my plate of it show it to be distinct from N. Schoeberi?5 Since I have proved the identity of Frankenia tetrapetala & F. laevis,6 I can well imagine, that with [Cr]es[s]a, Euphorbia Chamaesyce &c it may prove identical with the respective plants, which in the Orient we find consociated & our Lycium may be an other plant, yet to be identified with a northern species. Your name Elaeocarpus coriaceus has to be substituted for E. obovatus, in as much as Don's Australian plant is published prior to that of Arnott as far as I can percieve. Is there any possibility of getting in a letter from any of your oriental correspondents Senna seeds. It strikes me, that Dracaena Draco would thrive in Australia, and that it wood7 be of great value to us to receive seeds, should the plant in your noble Palm house produce any. I have made an other attempt of introducing something of interest into your conservatories, by shipping to day (free of freight) a Wardian Case pr. Sussex.

Most of the plants are so large & strong, as to have a fair prospect of travelling to the antipodes under ordinary circumstances. To fill the case I was however obliged to place into it a few of smaller size, yet well rooted.

I am particularly anxious that the two Prostantheras the Corraea & the Goodenias may reach you, as, if once obtained, they would be no doubt be8 distributed from Kew soon over the principle gardens of Europ.9

Trusting that under the blessing of providence

you will enjoy health & happiness,

I remain,

dear Sir William,

your ever grateful

Ferd. Mueller.






Dracaena Draco

Elaeocarpus obovatus

Euphorbia Chamaesyce


Frankenia laevis

Frankenia tetrapetala



Nitraria Schoeberi



Roepera aurantiaca




Zygophyllum fruticulosum

B62.03.03. Proof sheets were being sent to Kew as they became available.
See B62.03.03, p. 157, for a discussion of the generic position of Brachychiton .

Nitraria schoberi?

 M's plate is of Nitraria Billardierii (Supplemental plate 7 in B65.13.04). M placed Nitraria in Malpighiaceae (B62.03.03, p 92), but Bentham & Hooker (1862-83)vol. 1,p. 251, list Nitraria under 'Malpighiaceae / Genera affinia aut exclusa. V. dubia' with the instruction 'Vide Zygophylleas' [sic] and describe it under Zygophylleae on p. 265, giving 'F. Muell. Fl. Vict. 92; t. Suppl. 7' as one of their sources.

B62.03.03, pp. 82-3.
Word repeated.
Of the 26 specimens sent, twelve were recorded as 'dead', including Goodenia amplexans, Goodenia Macmillani, Correa aemula and Prostanthera spinosa; Prostanthera coccinea was recorded as 'bad'. The Kew clerk noted: "A Wardean (sic) Case in pretty good condition, but very wet, this may perhaps be with salt water." (RBG Kew, Kewensia, inwards book 1859-67, p. 83 ff.)

Please cite as “FVM-60-08-25a,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 21 September 2021,