To Frederick Barlee   28 March 1869



I have seen Mr Fullagar1 again yesterday, dear Mr Barlee, but he cannot venture to settle in your colony, however much he might like. The income of £50- - would not even supply him with the barest necessities of life, and he could probably not earn anything with extra teaching. Indeed he would probably have to spend £50 before he ever reached his destination. Nevertheless we are grateful for your good will. This disappointment makes it all the more desirable for me to solicit the aid of amateurs, both Ladies and Gentlemen, to complete my W.A. collections.

You would scarcely credit it, when I say, that when within the last weeks I worked up the Banksiae & Dryandrae for the 5th volume of the Flora of the Australian continent,2 hardly any of the Western species (all peculiar) was in a state of ripe fruit in my collections. The fruits now afford such excellent marks for specific discrimination & yet I was obliged to exclude in most instances the fruit characters from the diagnosis! Is this not lamentable? especially when all these plants are so easily gathered & as far as Banksiae & Dryandrae are concerned, need only to be dried on a mantlepiece or a shelve and finally be put into a box for transmission. What is needed are flowering & also fruitbearing branches! It is easily explained, why perfect fruit specimens occur of all plants so rarely in collections. Ordinary and amateur collector seize generally only on nice looking flowering specimens, or any thing that will look pretty when pressed into paper. But with such, however acceptable specimens, our knowledge of the species remains manifestly incomplete! I shall be grateful for any aid which may be afforded by W. A. residents & as the final results of all these researches will have some practical bearing on the welfare of W. Australia, I trust my somewhat impetuous demands will be not unkindly responded to or misconstrued.

On my suggestion some pure Angoras were obtained at Port Lincoln by my friend the hon. Samuel Davenport of Adelaide for W. Australia. Since this time the Acclimation Society here, of which I am senior Vice President, disposes of part of its flock. If therefore still more of these valuable animals would be required they could to a limited number and at a very moderate price now be obtained.

The culture of Eucalypts is rapidly advancing in North Africa. Many of your poor people might effect a good earning by picking from any trees of Mahogani & other Eucalypts the seedvessels, when such are perfectly ripe. The small seed-grains drop out very easily after a few days, when the capsules open and may be speedily sifted off and are then ready for sale. There would be always a market for such Eucalyptus seeds of any kind in Melbourne, especially if in each instance a few leaves & ripe seedvessels were added to the seeds wherewith the precise name of the kind could be ascertained.

All the poisonplants you kindly sent shall be examined after the drought is passed or whenever I get leisure.

Always with best regards

Ferd. von Mueller


There is a deciduous tree at the Murchison River,3 called the Barren Fig: my Brachychiton Gregorii. The ripe seed-vessels & seeds of this would be very valuable and be gratefully received.

Case of plants per "Mogul" case to be returned with native plants4



Brachychiton Gregorii



Eucalyptus Mahogani

James Page Fullagar?
i.e. Bentham (1863-78), vol. 5.
This sentence written in a different hand.

Please cite as “FVM-69-03-28,” 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 27 September 2023,