To George Bentham   27 February 1870

Melbourne bot Garden



Since I had the pleasure of last writing to you, dear Mr Bentham, I have examined a lot of various monocotyledonous plants. Libertia must be returned to Sisyrinchium, and the N.Z. L. micrantha be combined with Sisyrinchium pulchellum (Libertia Lawrencii1 J Hook.) I have sent ample notes to the press, which will give you the results of my investigations in detail. The seeds of the S. American Sisyr. lacustre2 are remarkable. I have looked carefully over my Austral material and must reduce all the species to 3, namely S. cyaneum Ldl, S. paniculatum Br (scarcely distinct from S. ixioides Forst) and S. pulchellum, Br (to which S. tricoccum from Valdi[v]ia3 is closely allied.

Asparagus fasciculatus seems identical with A racemosus, as far as I can see, but your material will be better than mine for comparison.

Hypolytrum latifolium is found at Rockingham's Bay. I have put the 6 large parcels of Australian Restiaceae into order & hope to work these out in the course of the few next months4 together with many Glumaceae.5 Ehrharta I have reexamined. There is nothing to separate from it Diplax and Microlaena. Notes on these plants are sent also to print for the 54 number of the fragmenta.6

The new lot of plants from Lord Howe's Island has not arrived yet. Our common Eastern and Northern Dioscorea will probably prove to be identical with D. Japonica.

Burmannia juncea may be only a few flowered variety of B. disticha. Ehrharta longiflora is amply naturalized at K.G. Sound.7 Areca Monostachya, cultivated at Kew, is certainly a Kentia. I have examined the ripe fruit carefully.

I am glad to learn from your last letter,8 that you fully recovered from the attack of Rheumatism and I trust you will guard against relaps[e]s. It is pleasing also that the work for the 5th volume9 goes on so briskly. I hope to have enough material for the 6th ready to keep you going on continuously. It seems to me a great pity to retain so poor a genus as Trichinium, now since so many transits to Ptilotus are found.10

With best regards

Ferd. von Mueller


I have finished also the Aphyllanthaceae. The seven Johnsonias must be reduced to two (7 = 2!), the 13 Laxmannias to 4 or 5. I have given the name Bartlingia to RBr's Laxmannia, as really no objection to R. & G. Forsters genus can be taken, as it proved not a species of Bidens. Assuredly RBr. had genera enough of his own, without encroaching on the few of Forsters and should have reestablished R & G Forsters Laxmannia, when he formed his Petrobium.11



Areca Monostachya

Asparagus fasciculatus

Asparagus racemosus



Burmannia disticha

Burmannia juncea

Dioscorea Japonica


Ehrharta longiflora


Hypolytrum latifolium




Libertia Lawrencii

Libertia micrantha





Sisyrinchium cyaneum

Sisyrinchium ixioides

Sisyrinchium lacustre

Sisyrinchium paniculatum

Sisyrinchium pulchellum

Sisyrinchium tricoccum


L. laurencii ? However, the spelling L. lawrencii is used in J. D. Hooker (1855-60), vol. 1, p. lxxviii.
Not in IPNI.
Southern Chile. The specimens M used to make this new combination were part of a collection from R. A. Phillippi (B73.08.01, p. 92.)
B73.08.01, pp. 64-102.
M's main discussion of grasses was in B73.11, pp. 101-24, continued in B73.12, pp. 125-40.
B70.04.01, where most of the species mentioned above are discussed, but some are in B70.01.01.
King George Sound, WA.
G. Bentham to M, 24 December 1869. No specific health problem is mentioned, but see G. Bentham to M, 25 November 1869, in which Bentham mentioned recovering from sciatica, not rheumatism.
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 5.
Bentham's conclusions about maintaining Trichium are mentioned in his letter of 24 December.
See B73.08.01, pp 85-9.

Please cite as “FVM-70-02-27,” 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 3 July 2022,