To George Bentham   13 February 1864


Dear Mr Bentham

The mail has just arrived, but I have as yet not your letters. Meanwhile a few notes. You have overlooked when the first volume of the Austral. flora was published, that Alph D.C. has described in the Linnaea xxv, 575 a Frankenia cinerea from the Baie des chiens marins.1 I have recently examined a second species of Lippia from tropical East Australia, which is quite identical with L. asperifolia from South America, noted also by Miquel in his Indian flora.2 I shall send you by this mail two Caesalpiniae seemingly distinct from the Indian species, and perhaps referable to Pterolobium; but of neither I have seen fruits. My Wistaria megasperma, of which I send you an other specimen might be made a separate genus. It occurs to me, that the plants of Norfolk Island should be embraced in your work. This little isle is a dependency of New South Wales & the few plants occurring on it are either identical with East Australian plants, or nearer allied to the flora of tropical Australia than to that of New Zealand or New Caledonia. My botanical publications have since some time not so progressed as could have been wished, as I have been much engaged in my department otherwise & have made the arrangements for incorporating Steetz's herbarium into mine.3 I have now about 80 good sized fascicles of extra Australian Compositae & nearly as many Australian ones.

I think it would be well for you to consult my manuscripts at Kew, as you are now ahead of the flora of Victoria and as there are yet many pages of writing on North Australian plants never published.4

The 26 number of the Fragmenta is at last published. You will find in it Ardisia & Pouzolsia for the first time as Australian Genera.5

I shall put now the rest of Calyciflorae in readiness for being sent to you. They are mostly worked up, Compositae included, but it requires the insertion of the additions of several collectors also comparison of Leichhardts herbarium & selection from it. By the Great Britain I forwarded to you Case No. 23 on the 28 of january and therewith the rest of the Myrtaceae come into your hands. Messrs Bright have placed the box on the free list. Pray arrange that someone looks carefully after it when the ship arrives in Liverpool[.] Case No. 22 was forwarded to you by the Essex, and of this and all the foregoing ones the bills of loading were always sent to you in duplicate & the freight paid here. I see no reason why the genus Rhytidochlamys should not be combined with Podolepis, as analogous differences occur in Helichrysum.

Since writing the above lines your letter of christmas eve has reached me.6 — The genus Diplolobium is described in the journ. or rather transact of the botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1863, 489, where you will find besides some other notes useful for further volumes.7 I should scarcely venture to reduce the genus to Swainsona on account of its oneseeded loculi or mericarps. The description of the flowers of Oxylobium in the Fragmenta is perfectly reliable;8 I copied it from my journal-notes. The specimens were mostly lost in the s[c]hooner at Timor or on the voyage to Sydney. You alluded to the fact, that I had some of the northern plants mixed under one name with Tephrosia flammea.9 This may be perhaps in consequence of the loss of the typical specimens on the voyage & the difficulty afterwards of matching the specimens with the journal notes. When the "paste" of plants was delivered to me in Sydney by Mr Baines10 I kept a few of the plants which were not absolutely decayed, though often the labels were quite destroyed & in relabelling no doubt some errors arose, which if it had fallen to my share to work them finally up would have been easily rectified. Grave errors could on a searching enquiry not very readily have escaped my notice. As regards Clidanthera11 I depended on RBr,12 who like on several other occasions let13 me formerly, when I regarded all what he said infallible, astray. He speaks only of its affinity to Psoralea

There is undoubtedly some time to be gained when plants are to be inspected & these fastened to half-sheets; but in my opinion this advantage is far outweighed by that of much greater protection being afforded to a specimen kept in a double sheet & by the much better opportunity for inspection, which loose specimens afford. The identity of our second Aeschynomene with Falcata is interesting. The future discovery of Aeschynomene aspera, of which the light tropical hats are made, may be anticipated, for evidently the leguminous seeds are carried far about by birds from continents & islands to Continents & hence we have so many plants just of this family cosmopolitan.14

Ever most regardfully


Ferd. Mueller


You mention, that all Zornias of Australia belong to Z. diphylla.15 If so Z. chaetophora would belong to a different genus.16

In the last number of Fragmenta Baeckea diffusa should have been called B ramosissima under which name it was published by A.C. in Fields work17

I received recently a collection of plants from Kings18 Island. It adds at least one plant to the Tasmanian Flora, namely Pimelea axiflora.


Aeschynomene falcata

Aeschynomene aspera


Baeckea diffusa

Baeckea ramosissima






Frankenia cinerea


Lippia asperifolia



Pimelea axiflora







Tephrosia flammea

Wistaria megasperma

Zornia chaetophora

Zornia diphylla

Now Shark Bay, WA. See A. de Candolle (1852), p. 575; the species is not included inBentham (1863-78), vol. 1, pp. 150-3.
Miquel (1855-59), vol. 2, p. 906. Bentham (1863-78), vol. 5, p. 35, lists L. geminata , as from about Rockhampton, 'probably introduced from South America, where it is often common'. Bentham does not give any synonym for L. geminate — L. asperifolia has been regarded as a synonym — and he does not mention M's L. lantanifolia from Rockhampton, described in B68.03.04, p. 151.
See Short & Sinkora (1988).
Manuscripts not found.
G. Bentham to M, 24 December 1863.
Diplolobium walcottii, described in B63.13.03, p. 489.
M wrote Oxylobium in error for Oxycladium . The word is interlined, but fully legible. Oxylobium flowers are described in B55.13.03, pp. 37-8, from Victorian locations; Oxycladium is treated in Fragmenta , B59.09.03, pp. 167-8, collected on the North Australia expedition from the sandstone tableland between the Victoria River and Sturt's Creek. M's journals of the expedition have not been found.
See G. Bentham to M, 19 November 1863 (in this edition as 63-11-19a) .
See M to W. Hooker, 6 April 1857.
See G. Bentham to M, 19 November 1863.
Robert Brown.
For points discussed in this paragraph, see G. Bentham to M, 24 December 1863 .
See G. Bentham to M, 24 December 1863.
The following paragraphs are marginal notes on the front and back of f. 140.
Cunningham (1825), p. 349.
King Island, Bass Strait.

Please cite as “FVM-64-02-13,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 25 January 2022,