From George Bentham   17 February 1870


Feby 17 /70

My dear Sir

I put the first portion of my new volume1 into the printers hands the first days of this month but owing to a stupid quarrel between the publisher and printer the printing has been transferred to other hands and I have no proof yet but hope to send you the first sheet or two next mail. I am however very much at the publisher's mercy and have no choice myself as to the printer.

I was detained a long while at Monimiaceae of which I cannot make less than fifteen Australian species and they all required very careful examination as far as specimens allowed — and Dallachy's for instance are very satisfactory. Palmeria has pendulous ovules and comes near Hedycarya but is quite distinct. Atherosperma micrantha2 Tul has also pendulous ovules and I have been obliged to make a new genus of it (Daphnandra) Under Wilkiea calyptrocalyx I found what appear to me five very distinct species one (Mollinedia macrophylla Tul.) a true Mollinedia the other four (Mollinedia Huegeliana Tul. and three new ones from Rockingham Bay) belong to Kibara, one of them indeed differs only by very slight specific characters from the original K. coriacea Bl. (Sarcostigma Griff.). Baillon reunites Kibara with Mollinedia but I do not agree with him for if the differences in the male flowers are here neglected how is Hedycarya to be kept out. This is all matter of opinion. If they are not adopted as genera they must be made very distinct sections which comes to much the same thing under another name. Your Mollinedia Wardellii is as you say a genuine congener of the American ones — some fruiting specimens of Dallachys evidently closely allied to it appear however sufficiently distinct and I have described them as new Your Mollinedia?acuminata is I think a new genus but as the specimens are not far enough advanced I have left them under your name3 With the habit of Mollinedia the stamens are nearer those of Hedycarya.

I am now fairly in Proteaceae and have just finished Petrophila and Isopogon — 35 sp. of the former 25 of the latter. One advantage of working after Meissner is that he is careful and accurate although he makes in my estimation too many species. His parts of the Prodromus are infinitely better done than Moquin-Tandon's4

A box is packed for you containing the remaining orders up to Proteaceae and one or two parcels of Petrophila to make up. It will be sent I believe to the shipping agent this week — I hope now to get on rapidly with the bulky Proteaceaes and have another box packed soon. A sudden return of severe frost the last week has rather brought back my sciatica but not enough as yet to interrupt my work.

I sincerely trust from what you wrote last mail to Dr Hooker that all your troubles about the direction of the Garden are over5

Yours very truly

George Bentham


Dr Ferd. Mueller CMG.


Atherosperma micrantha




Kibara coriacea

Mollinedia acuminata

Mollinedia Huegeliana

Mollinedia macrophylla

Mollinedia Wardellii






Wilkiea calyptrocalyx

Bentham (1863-78), vol. 5.
A. micranthum ?
B66.10.01, p. 155.
Meisner and Moquin-Tandon each contributed several parts of Candolle (1823/73); Meisner (1856/7) dealt with the Proteaceae and Moquin-Tandon (1849) with Amaranthaceae, wihich Bentham had recently completed.
See 'Private' postscript to M to J. Hooker, 4 December 1869 (in this edition as 69-12-04a).

Please cite as “FVM-70-02-17,” 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,