From George Bentham   18 April 1862

25. Wilton Place, S.W.

April 18 1862

My dear Sir,

I have now the pleasure to report that your first box of specimens arrived at Kew a few days since quite safe and in excellent order[.]1 I have only had time to glance at them as I have for the last week been engaged in a paper on African Anonaceae which I had to read last night at the Linnean besides the time taken up in the proofs of our Genera,2 but I shall now set to work regularly commencing at the commencement and as the greater part of the genera belonging to his first batch are provisionally done I trust it will not be long ere I shall be able to send this box back to you.

For our Genera it was necessary to examine in detail all the species of the Australian Pomaderroid genera in order to ascertain their limits — for Reissek's labours are not very satisfactory.3 I have now settled and described — subject to such changes as your herbarium will suggest — 75 species and I think by a different limitation of genera we have them much more natural. Pomaderris, known chiefly by its stamens and petals has not always the operculate cocci (they are not so in P. phylicifolia Lodd. (or P. ericifolia Hook) for instance) and is all eastern or southern one species only, P. obcordata extending to K. George's Sound.4 Flowers always pedicellate except in P. betulina and bracts deciduous (16 sp.) — Trymalium we reduce to about 7 W. Australian species with pedicellate flowers and deciduous bracts & semiinferior capsules All the capitate Trymalia with pedicellate bracts we put into Spyridium of which we have near 30 sp. Eastern Southern and Western. The annular or (5 gland) disk is always close under the calyx lobes usually close to the ovary but some times raised up at some distance above it — Capsule almost always quite inferior. — Cryptandra has always the calyx tube continued above the disk which is close round the ovary and often not distinguishable from it.

Stenanthemum (Cryptandrae sect Stenocoddon Hook) has the essential characters of Cryptandra but the calyx very slender and the inflorescence rather of Spyridium and we retain it for a small number of species

Wichurea must go into Cryptandra as a section with the disk more distinct and in one species glabrous with a villous ovary, in another villous with a glabrous ovary

Stenodiscus we think merges into Spyridium. The calyx tube is more developed than in most Spyridia but the annular prominent disk in at the top of the tube close to the lobes and not at its base.

Trymalium Wichurae and T. angustifolium are both somewhat anomalous but we retain them in Trymalium T. globulosum and allies and Hooker's capitate and bracteate Cryptandras go into Spyridium. There remain about 17 true Cryptandras and about 5 Stenathema In all Rhamneae habit and inflorescence must be relied on generic characters

Next month I hope I shall have made progress with the early orders and be able to say more of the valuable collections you entrust to my care and which for my own satisfaction I shall be anxious to return at the earliest possible period. I am anxious to begin printing early in autumn, but for that I must have the greater part of the volume in MS, for by the arrangements I make with the printers he gives three sheets per week. I put the MS of the Hong Kong Flora into his hands in the beginning of November and it was out before the middle of February5 — and I should like this time to have the 1st vol of Flora Australiensis out not long after Xmas next. I mention this in order to show you how much obliged I shall be by the early transmission of the other Thalamiflorae which I shall hasten to return with all possible speed

Ever yours sincerely

George Bentham




Cryptandrae sect Stenocodon

Pomaderris betulina

Pomaderris ericifolia

Pomaderris obcordata

Pomaderris phylicifolia





Trymalium angustifolium

Trymalium globulosum

Trymalium Wichurae


editorial addition.
Bentham (1862b); Bentham & Hooker (1862-83) .
Reissek (1857-58); Bentham & Hooker (1862 -83), vol. 1, pp. 381–3.
King George Sound, WA.
Bentham (1861a).

Please cite as “FVM-62-04-18,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 19 June 2024,