To George Bentham   23 October 1862


My dear Mr Bentham.

By this mail I have sent a few fragments of plants, which will as thalamiflorous be additions to the material of the first volume of Austr. flora. There is amongst them what I consider a Tinospora1 from W. Australia ( the only menisp. plant I know from there) a Milnea & a new genus allied to Rhus.

I have completed the 21 No of my Fragm., containing one new genus, Phymatocarpus near Beaufortia.2

The 22. No is under progress. My work lies mainly now between the two great orders Myrtaceae & Leguminosae in anticipation of the 2. vol of your Austr flora. Nevertheless I shall occasionally attend to others orders also, as in my capacity as Director of this establishment sometimes calls of correspondents are made for examining certain plants, involving the analysis of others, and as also many new species are in our garden & in its conservatories under cultivation & require description.

Would it not be well to combine the two large orders Myrtaceae & Leguminosae in one volume? as they will make a totum by themselfes?

I have to thank you & Dr Hooker for the transmission of the first fascicle of your genera,3 a work of which botanical literature may well be proud. It will facilitate much giving the species of certain orders, which were lying in chaotic confusion, a permanent place in the system & as the work can never be superseded altho' it may become supplemented, I think every Botanist should tender his aid & offer his suggestions on what already has been done.

I feel sure you will with your usual indulgence not be displeased, that I have ventured a few observations on the fascicle transmitted, which may be useful for final supplements. The notes are but brief & offered after a hasty revisal, such as as4 yet I was as yet5 able to perform. In a general way I may be permitted to observe that I have found large genera with subgenera as the most easy receptacles for species & best calculated to assist the memory. To me it occurs also, that if we leave genera such as Drosera, Senecio, Cassia, Solanum in their entirety, we must for conformities sake concede to genera in general a proportionate width. Yourself seem to have taken at the whole a more conservative view than Dr Hooker; such is my impression after the perusal of the characters of Rutaceae & Sapindaceae.6

In my last letter7 I gave a hurried note of the various contributors to our herbarium. Being unable to keep duplicates of my very extensive correspondence except on strictly official matters, I have no means of ascertaining, whether I not possibly overlooked to inform you, that Miss Luisa Atkinson of the Grose River, N.S. Wales, has given me many valuable specimens from the Blue Mountains.

It may be also as well to notice, that Mr Daniel Bunce accompanied Dr Leichhardt as botanical collector in his second & brief expedition, so that he may claim having a share in the acquisition of the bot specimens of that journey.

Some of the genera which I have more or less preliminary reviewed are holding out much difficulty in separating the species, not because the species are passing into each other, but because we have not yet satisfactorely traced the varieties which have sprung from each. I shall have perhaps more difficulty with the genera Swainsona Dillwynia & Leptospermum then with any others. The first look on these is perfectly bewildering.

Have you kindly noticed, that the Zygophyllum glaucum has been rebaptized Z. glaucescens on account of Meyer's earlier species?8

I have recently furnished & read a paper on Austr Marsilieae before our R.S. - It may not be printed for some time.9 The essay on F. Gregorys N W. Australian plants10 is at last nearly completed. The new species of Diplopeltis (D. Stuartii) may require generic separation & could be called Diplopholis.11

I believe I mentioned before, that I would be happy to take ten copies of your genera.

Pray be so good to give me the sequence of the orders of Calyciflorae required for your second volume of the Austr. flora

Hyperic. gramineum & H japonicum are decidedly only varieties of one species and I have no doubt you will concur in my view whenever you have seen the large suite of forms sent to you. I am glad to learn that the consignment pr Orwell is safely arrived.

If copies of the Australian flora were sent to Baillière branch firm in Melbourne, I feel sure the sale of a good many would be effected. Mr Baillière here12 only dealing in scientific books & always very painstaking in getting subscribers or purchasers. He has moreover the time for disposing of the works. Not living in Melbourne I found for instance that I could not effect the sale of his13 valuable phycologia myself & had to place the copies which I gave not away in donation into the hands of the traders.

Have you ever ascertained what Lindley's Pronaya ericoides is?  Thanking you for the honor you have done in your genera in quoting so frequently my humble works, I remain,

dear Sir, yours


Ferd Mueller[.]






Diplopeltis Stuartii




Hypericum gramineum

Hypericum japonicum








Pronaya ericoides








Zygophyllum glaucescens

Zygophyllum glaucum

Bentham named Tinospora walcotti from specimens collected in Western Australia by Walcott in Bentham (1863- 78), vol. 1, p. 56.
M erected Phymatocarpus (P. porphyrocephalus) in B62.10. 02, p. 121.
Bentham and Hooker (1862—83).
repeated word.
secondas yet interlined.
The accounts of these families were written by J. Hooker for Bentham and Hooker (1862—83).
M to Bentham, 24 September 1862.
See B62.02.01, p. 228.
M described Diplopeltis stuartiiin B62.04.01, p. 12; Bentham did not separate it into a new genus.
is beforehere deleted.
W. H. Harvey? (Harvey [1858-63]). See M to J. Hooker, 25 October 1866, in this edition as 66-10-25a.

Please cite as “FVM-62-10-23,” 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 24 May 2024,