From Joseph Hooker   22 August 1862

Kew Aug 22/621

My dear Mueller

Your very intelligent friend Mr Osborne called today2 & I have given him such letters as I could on the spur of the moment & when everybody almost is out of Town.

I am on the Eve of starting for Scotland tomorrow, but have arranged to see him on my return on the 15th Sept. & do what more I can for him.

Your letter per Orwell arrived yesterday,3 with the description of Ranunculus Haastii — This I have not sent for the present to the Bot. Society of Edinburgh because you have confounded two plants which are abundantly distinct & which I have named in a supplementary paper to my Fl. Nov. Zeland for Linn Soc. R. Lyallii & R. Traversii4 the first of them was what you first sent description of as Haastii — it was discovered by Dr Lyall, has very large & coriaceous simply crenate leaves very large flowers; the other is a much smaller plant with crenate & lobed leaves, smaller difft. cold5 flowers. Both on this account & because my paper would certainly appear before yours & in a well recognized Bot. Journal I have thought you would be glad that I retained your description till further orders from yourself.

The Orwell has arrived but the boxes are not delivered yet. Bentham has made great progress with vol I & is now gone on a 6 weeks holiday to recruit after his very hard work — he hopes to publish a volume by Christmas.6

My father is fairly well but laid up with an attack of Eczema7 which being on the ancles, quite prevents his walking. He has just lost a favorite little grand child,8 which is a source of great affliction

I am distributing Gunn's Tasmanian plants now, & shall put aside a good set for you which will go in Autumn together with some other things that will I hope prove acceptable.

I am excessively busy with the most extraordinary plant in the world, the Welwitschia it has cost me many weeks dissection & study & I expect to publish the memoir about Xmas in Linn. Soc. Trans with 10 quarto plates9

We are quite overwhelmed with the visitors to this Gt. Exhibition.10 We shall know little of the destination of the objects till toward the end

With my fathers sincere regards

Ever dear Mueller

most ty yrs

Jos D Hooker


Ranunculus Haastii

Ranunculus Lyallii

Ranunculus Traversii


Pencilled annotation at head of letter by M: '[Bidisc. Folius]'.
See M to J. Hooker, 24 April 1862 (in this edition as 62-04-24a).
The description presumably accompanied either M to W. Hooker, 24 April 1862 (in this edition as 62-04-24f) or M to J. Hooker, 24 April 1862 (64-04-24a), since Orwell left Melbourne at the end of April (see M to J. Hooker, 22 June 1862).
Descriptions did not appear in a journal of the Linnean Society. Hooker eventually published R. traversii and R. lyallii in J. Hooker (1864-7), vol. 1, p. 4, and also R. haasti (p. 6), without any reference to M. Of R. traversii, the description of which follows immediately after the description of R. lyallii, Hooker wrote: 'I follow Mr Travers's opinion in distinguishing this species, which is certainly closely allied to the former. I have but very indifferent specimens.' See also M to J. Haast, 29 July 1862 (in this edition as 62-07-29b), and M to J. Hooker, 25 August 1862.
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 1, was published in May that year (TL2, vol. 1, p 178).
See J. Hooker to M, 11 April 1862.
Anne McGilvray, aged 11, died on 15 August 1862; see Allen (1967), p. 208.
J. Hooker (1863).
International Exhibition, London, 1862.

Please cite as “FVM-62-08-22,” 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 4 December 2023,