From Joseph Hooker1    4 April 1871

P & O. St. V. Massilia

April 4 /71.

Dear Dr Mueller

I am on my way for a much needed relaxation to Tangier (via Gibraltar) where I shall spend some weeks & hope to get some good plants. I wrote you lately,2 but forgot to add that the Fraxinus you sent is either F. americana or F. viridis which are very closely allied species.3

I think I informed you that the contents of the cases by Capt Ridges were all dead except Veronica Hulkeana & Polygonum Cunninghamii. Your plan of canvas covered boxes has now uniformly failed, & I do not think it is worth the repetition; as was to be expected. The earth gets entirely burnt up during the passage through the tropics: & no doubt from want of moisture under the canvas they get burnt too. This seems to be the inevitable result. A tent is always frightfully dry & hot in the sun. 4

I am very sorry to hear that your troubles regarding your position are not all over. I know from experience how difficult it is to secure & hold always the position which one would like to occupy — but these things are of the ups & downs of this world. No doubt had we turned our energies & our talents in other directions we should have made more of them — but then we should not have been so happy & contented with ourselves.

I will gladly add the title of Director to your letters5 — if I omit it, it is for brevity' sake & so long as my own letters reach me I am indifferent how they are addressed!

I am glad to hear that you are progressing with the Florula of Lord Howes' Island — I wish that you could visit that interesting group yourself.6

I am sure that we have still duplicates of America plant that would be useful to you; but the time to select them is what we want — how I wish that you could come over here & take your pick!

Bentham is working at Compositae for Genera Plantarum & I at Rubiaciae. — That rigid leaved Coprosma? with connate flowers (I forget its name) from the North is surely not of that genus

Most try yr

Jos D Hooker.




Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus viridis

Polygonum Cunninghamii


Veronica Hulkeana

MS embossed with emblem of the Royal Gardens Kew.
Letter not found.
See M to J. Hooker, 16 December 1870.
See M to J. Hooker, 10 October 1870.
See M to J. Hooker, 6 September 1870 (in this edition as 70-09-06a).
No letter from M to Hooker refering to progress with the Lord Howe Island plants has been found, but see M to G. Bentham, 22 April 1870. M had published species jointly with C. Moore in B70.04.01 and listed other species from Lord Howe Island there and in B70.12.03.

Please cite as “FVM-71-04-04a,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 28 September 2021,