To Adolphe Brongniart   26 June 1862

Melbourne botanic Garden,

26 Jun 62

Most honored Sir

The receipt of your friendly letter, dated 20 April,1 has been to me the source of great pleasure, as it brings me for the first time in to direct contact with a savant, for whom I ever felt the deepest veneration and whose works, when studying them during my boyhood, have largely contributed to give my plan of life its direction.

It shall afford me very great pleasure, to contribute at least some plants from N. & N. E. Australia for comparison with those of New Caledonia, and I hope to send a quantity of these by next mail & continue the sendings by the then next mail-Steamers. The main- and normal-collection of Thalamiflorae of our state-herbarium is placed by me in the hands of Mr G. Bentham, in order that all the assistance within my power may be afforded him in the publication of the large work on the Universal Australian Flora, on which he is now engaged. Thus it does not lie within my means at present to supply to the Paris Museum of some of the thalamiflorous plants of our collection, and I beg also to point out, that only a solitary specimen was kept of most of the plants collected during Mr. A. Gregorys expedition for our herbarium, the mainbulk of the plants being forwarded to Kew after my return from North Australia.

I have however a considerable number of species from the warmer parts of East Australian accumulated since my own journey, and of which I shall be most happy to place a share at the disposal of the Paris Museum.

The great number of Epacrideae, leptosper[m]2aceous Myr[ta]ceae, of Proteaceae, Cun[o]niaceae and Diosmeae in the vegetation of New Caledonia is very striking and highly interesting as no doubt most of [the] species will prove no[vel.] Epacrideae, Leptosper[meae] and Diosmeae are very r[are] in tropical Australia. [Of] Elaeocarpaceae we have only 5 Elaeocarpi & 1 Aristotelia in the warmer parts of East Australia as far as the vegetatio[n] is known.

Allow me to direct your attention to two New Caledonian plants of remarkable character, which I have described some years ago, but which are not yet generally known in Europe. The one is Coccoloba platyclada (Polygonum platycladum F.M in transact. phil. Institut. Vict. II, 73)3 of this I am have recently sent a drawing to Sir Will. Hooker for the Botanical Magazine.4 The other is the noble Araucaria Rulei (F. M. essay on the plants of the estuary of the Burdekin 1860 p. 19 in note,5 & in Lindl. Gardeners Chronicle 1861 p. 8686) a woodcut of this remarkable pine, which bears some resemblance to A. imbricata is given by Professor Lindley.

Of my fragmenta phytographiae Australiae 18 numbers have been published, and the latter ones contain many N. E. Australian plants.

I think that I can forward a specimen of Salisia, but do not think, as the genus is entirely restricted to S. W. Australia, that it is likely to occur in New Caledonia.

I have taken the liberty of adressing you in the English language, but if you prefer it I will conduct my future correspondence with you in French, altho' I write it not fluently. Or if you desire it I will adress you in Latin, or German henceforth.

May I ask of you the favor to present my profound respects to M. Milne-Edwards, your great colleague & coetan. Professor M'Coy, the Director of our Museum will supply part of the vertebrate animals, desired for the Museum from here & part will be supplied by myself.

For Prof. Dumeril I have some further icht[hy]ological collections nearly ready. Pray give him my regards.

With sentiments of the greatest venera[tion] & attachment

I remain, honoured & dear Sir,


Ferd. Mueller


Professor Adolph Brogniart & & &



Araucaria imbricata

Araucaria Rulei


Coccoloba platyclada








Polygonum platycladum




Letter not found.
In the remainder of the letter doubtful transcriptions are due to the text being obscured by a binding strip.
W. Hooker (1863a). See M to W. Hooker, 24 May 1862 (in this edition as 62-04-24f).

Please cite as “FVM-62-06-26,” 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 28 March 2023,