From George Bentham   24 May 1862

London May 24 1862

My dear Sir,

I wrote to you the other day in great haste for I do not like to encroach on my working hours at Kew by writing letters and at home I have been very much engaged of late Since then I have received yours of the 25th March and also a copy of the 2d vol. of your Fragmenta1 for which many thanks. I am sorry I am unable to send you proofs of our Genera Plantarum2 as they come out as we have no spare ones but as soon as the first part is finished I will send it you[.]3 23 sheets are already in type and three or four more will I think complete it (down to Connaraceae) — there would be no time to receive your remarks for the addenda — which we shall probably not give with the Part. The printing is a very heavy expense to Dr Hooker and myself and we must endeavour to sell as many as we can towards defraying it — but we shall probably be ultimately at a considerable loss as we shall not put a high price on the work. I trust it will be out in a month or 6 weeks.

I wrote to you in a hurry about your new Menispermaceous plant which you had referred to Pachygone.4 It certainly agrees in almost all essential characters with my African Triclisias but it has petals which the African ones have not and after much hesitation I have thought it as well in the present state of our knowledge of Menispermaceae to make a distinct genus of it which I have called Microclisia.5

We had very good fruits of Tremandra which I examined for our Genera last summer What with Drummonds, Preiss's and others we are rich in W. Australian Plants and I hope to be able to identify all the blundery puzzles of Turczaninoff and of Steudel and others of the Plantae Preissianae who put half their plants into wrong genera.6

I am puzzled with many of the localities on your labels. I find the greater number of them in the excellent atlas we have — Still there are several — such as Sealer's Cove7 — Mount Laperouse8 etc which are not there. I am also embarrassed sometimes to know who the collectors are — Mx I suppose means Maxwell — D. M. at first puzzled me much as you generally adopt the initials F. M. but on comparing localities I conclude it must mean yourself — Many labels are without any name of collector and then I quote Herb. Mueller — In general I try to give general stations which I can always take from your book for Victoria plants giving your authority — but where stations are few I must particularise and give the authority for each.

I cannot quite agree to uniting Cardamine pratensis hirsuta and resedifolia — plants that I have so often and so long observed living in so many localities — and I much doubt the common Australian large flowered one being identical with the northern pratensis although both appear to be peduncial. Dr Hooker tells me that it certainly is so in Tasmania — from the specimens I should say that Hooker's C. tenuifolia (including lilacina intermedia and heterophylla) is one of those perennials which sends out a short stolone9 in autumn from whence proceeds the following years plant which thus often looks like an annual whilst the small flowered C. hirsuta is a true annual although here as elsewhere when it comes up early enough in autumn to form a good tuft before winter it looks almost perennial when it comes into flower the next season — but this may happen to all annuals that are not quite ephemeral.

I shall be out of town in August and September but letters addressed to me at Kew will always reach me.

Yours very sincerely

George Bentham


I shall not begin printing till the volume is nearly ready and then print rapidly in order to make the addenda and corrigenda in the MS as much as possible.


Cardamine heterophylla

Cardamine hirsuta

Cardamine intermedia

Cardamine lilacina

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine resedifolia

Cardamine tenuifolia







The bound volume made up of fascicles 11–16, plus the unnumbered 'Additamenta' (B61.13.07).
Bentham & Hooker (1862-83), vol. 1. See M to G. Bentham, 25 March 1862 (in this edition as 62-03-25d) .
editorial addition.
See G. Bentham to M, 19 May 1862.
Although publishing the new genus in Bentham & Hooker (1862-83), vol. 1, p. 435, as an addendum to the Menispermaceae, Bentham retained the plant within Pachygone in Bentham (1863-78), vol .1, p. 58, without citing his earlier genus in synonymy although indicating his uncertainty by listing the species as 'P. (?) pubescens'.
Lehmann (1844-7) contains enumerations of plants collected in WA by Johan Ludwig Preiss, plus some collected by others such as James Drummond, Thomas Mitchell and Johan Lhotsky. See Stearn (1939) for a list of collaborators and bibliographic details. Both Steudel and Turczaninow published extensively on Australian plants (see 'Editors citations' file in this edition for examples.) See also Bentham (1863-78), vol. 1, pp 10*-11*: 'As many portions of [the plants published in Plantae Priessianae] were confided for publication to such botanists as the late Dr. Steudel, it would have been impossible to identiify them without such an inspection of authentic specimens'.
Wilson's Promontory, Vic.

Please cite as “FVM-62-05-24,” 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,