From George Bentham   25 August 1862

Church Stretton1

Augt 25/62

My dear Mueller,

Yours of the 24/2 June2 reached me yesterday in time to let you know by this overland that the 4th box per Orwell is I hear safely arrived at Kew.

Many thanks for the transmission of the £100 for the 1st vol. to the Victoria Agent for me. I have written to enquire his name and address and shall immediately communicate with him on the subject. The Governments of Queensland N.S. Wales and S. Australia have each promised £50 per volume which makes up the £250 required. Western Australia declined but will I hope take some copies of the work as also will I trust Tasmania. I consider that Victoria will be entitled (without further payment) at least to 20 copies and those Governments which contribute £50 to 10 copies each — making altogether 50 copies, and I should be very glad if I could get 50 more subscribed for by the Governments as my arrangement with the publisher will require that 100 copies should be taken at the full price. This I can do out of the £250, but I hope after the liberal example set by Victoria I shall have a few more copies taken by the other Governments.

With regard to the progress of the work, after my return to town the first days of October I shall be able to proceed steadily without interruption and I calculate that soon after Xmas I shall be able to begin printing — for your own Flora of Victoria3 backed by your specimens renders the labour comparatively light. It would therefore be very important for me if you could let me see as early as possible specimens of all the new species of Thalamiflorae and Disciflorae you have described in the last numbers of your Fragmenta. Your new Anonaceae for instance I am in doubt whether they are or not distinct from some of those I have from Cunningham Macgillivray etc. — perhaps in a different state — which doubts may be at once cleared up by a glance at the specimens. Mr Heward4 has most liberally on hearing of the work I am preparing presented to Kew Cunningham's own set of his plants. I have from Sonder an almost complete set of Preiss', and I hope before the vol. goes to press to make a short trip to Paris to see a few of Leschenault's and Baudin's plants described by De Candolle so that there will be but very few published Australian species of which I shall not have seen authentic specimens. Browns are particularly valuable as showing the vegetation at a time when there were very few introduced plants even at Port Jackson. Although the parcel of his Cruciferae has not yet been found I have hunted up several of them in the Banksian herbarium amongst others his Draba pumilio which is Capsella in a very young dwarf state but whether C. procumbens or C. australis (if the two be really distinct) the plants are too young to determine, most probably C. australis.

I do hope you will go on as steadily as possible with your important "Plants of Victoria" which saves me an immense deal of labour.5

You will have received I hope by this mail the first part of our Genera6 which Dr Hooker has sent you. Dr Hooker is working at the 2nd part. I shall finish the 1st vol. of Fl. Australiensis7 before I do anything towards it. I must not delay more than I can help if I wish at my age to get the Flora finished.

As to addenda I think that I ought only to insert what I see specimens of or what is published before me — any corrections and additions after printing which you have to make had better be published by yourself.8 The value of any work I hope will be chiefly in the comparison of authentic specimens.

I will send you my photograph next time I write via Southampton as it would be overweight via Marseilles.9

Yours very sincerely

George Bentham



Capsella australis

Capsella procumbens



Draba pumilio


Shropshire, England.
M to G. Bentham, 26 June 1862 (in this edition as 62-06-24b).
Cunningham had bequeathed his collections to Robert Heward; see Bentham (1863-78), vol. 1, p. 9*.
A bound copy of B63.13.06, the proofs of the first forty pages of the intended second volume of Plants Indigenous to the Colony of Victoria, exists at Kew. The first two gatherings (pp. 1-16) are heavily annotated.
Bentham & Hooker (1862-83).
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 1.
See M to G. Bentham, 24 June 1862 (in this edition as 62-06-24b).
Photograph not found.

Please cite as “FVM-62-08-25,” 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 23 February 2024,