From George Bentham   24 June 1862

Kew June 24/62

My dear Sir,

Since I wrote last month1 I have done the Australian Cruciferae, Capparideae, Violaceae & Bixineae (following the order of our Genera)2 and am now in Pittosporeae[.]3 I have had but little change to make in your arrangements. The Australian Sisymbria should however I think all go into Blennodia for they have 2-rowed seeds whilst in all the true Sisymbria they overlap so completely as to form decidedly a single row — the only exception is S. officinale and there it is only at the base of the pod. Sis. or Arab.4 thaliana5 which you thought you had identified in Blennodia cardaminoides is quite distinct both in foliage and in the pod and seeds — In Cardamine I cannot go so far as to unite C. pratensis hirsuta and resedifolia I am too familiar with them all over Europe to venture upon an union which no European Botanist would agree to — and if they are kept distinct Hooker's C. tenuifolia must be kept up too — leaving the small flowered annuals with very short styles in C. hirsuta — Your C. eustylis is very marked as having the 2-rowed seeds and convex valves of Nasturtium but from its habit I suppose it must remain in Cardamine — Drummond's plants supply two or three interesting Cruciferae not in yours — amongst others Geococcus which may be one state of a dimorphous plant and a new Thlaspi (in very bad specimen) Of Brown's Cruciferae I have unfortunately only seen the few that are laid in the Banksian collection for Mr Bennett had mislaid the parcel but he hopes still to find it6 — As the order however is not tropical I do not suppose that Brown had any that you have not. — In Capparideae your Capparis (Busbeckia) biformis7 seems to me to be the same as C. canescens DC. characterised chiefly by the four prominent angles of the calyx. Your C. corymbiformis8 (Busbeckia) is DC's Thylacium lucidum — though that and C. nobilis appear to have been confounded by Brown under C. lucida. Emblingia is a very curious plant I wish there were more[.] I could only venture to examine one ovary in which I found 2 parietal placentae with one ovule to each. In Violaceae I am rather puzzled with Ionidium suffruticos[a]9 yellow flowered ones from Cunningham & others have certainly the striate seeds of the purple one — although your yellow one from Victoria river10 has them smooth. — In Hymenanthera I feel convinced that Hooker is right in distinguishing the Tasmanian from the Australian one. In Bixaceae11 I have 4 Cochlosperma — Frasers which is the nearest to the Indian one in flowers but of which we have no leaves — your two species and a fourth gathered by McGillivray in Lizard Island We have also a Scolopia and a Xylosma, both new — Of the Australian Pittospora the only one which can be identified with extra-Australian ones is ovatifolium which is P. ferrugineum Ait. — P. rubiginosum Cunn. is a very distinct species only in his collection.

Brown's Menispermaceae supply me with another new one which I must make a genus of although I tried hard to get [it]12 into Pachygone of which it has the habit and imbricate flowers — but 3 petals 9 to 12 stamens in the males, 3 petals no staminodia and 2 ovules to each carpel in the female will not do — at least whilst the fruit is unknown.

The plants you mention in your letter to Sir W. Hooker as having been sent by the Dover Castle & the Orwell have not yet arrived.

I am afraid that the new genus Lamprospermum you sent in fruit is not sufficient to publish13 — It would only be a puzzle — the placentation approaches that of Bixineae but the disk appears to have been very different and to bring it nearer to the Passifloral orders.

I am still very busy with our Genera14 It is now (the first part) all in type Ranunculaceae to Connaraceae — except the index and will I hope be out next month It makes a very large 8vo in small type of about 450 pages comprising 1300 genera and at least as many synonyms. I shall now endeavour to get on with the corresponding vol. of the Australian Flora so as to print it in the winter and then go on with Leguminosae both for Genera & Australian Flora — I shall however be absent the greater part of August & September

Ever yours sincerely

George Bentham


Dr F. Mueller


Arabidopsis thaliana



Blennodia cardaminoides

Busbeckia biformis

Busbeckia corymbiformis


Capparis biformis

Capparis canescens

Capparis corymbioformis

Capparis lucida

Capparis nobilis

Cardamine eustylis

Cardamine hirsuta

Cardamine pratensis

Cardamine resedifolia

Cardamine tenuifolia







Ionidium suffruticosa






Pittosporum ferrugineum

Pittosporum ovatifolium

Pittosporum rubiginosum



Sisymbrium officinale

Sisymbrium thaliana


Thylacium lucidum



G. Bentham to M, 24 May 1862.
Bentham & Hooker (1862–83).
editorial addition.
Robert Brown's plants were at the British Museum.
Not in IPNI as either C. biformis or B. biformis.
corymbiflora ?
I. suffructicosum ? Before being transferred to Ionodium, this species was known as Viola suffruticosa (see APNI).
editorial addition.
Lamprospermum was not published by either M or Bentham. In any case, the name had been used previously by Klotsch for a genus from British Guiana (see IPNI).
Bentham & Hooker (1862-83), vol. 1.

Please cite as “FVM-62-06-24,” 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,