From Edward Ramsay   26 June 1874


June 26 - 1874

To the Baron Von Mueller



My dear Dr Mueller

I trust you will not think I am encroaching too much on your good nature in asking you to name a few palm seeds for me. I have lately returned from a 6 mo trip Botanising &c in the Rockingham Bay district and am about to return to finish an exploring trip from Cardwell to the Endeavour1 The object is to find a road from the Daintree River to the Palmer Goldfields & I am taking a large party with me. I have made considerable collections which will be […]ted to you for the benefit of science, as soon as I have time to get them [down], in the mean time for commercial purposes it is necessary for me to give the names of the Palms I have collected and am offering for sale, and I would deem it a particular favor if you would let me know the names as soon as possible — some of then I know & so I only send those I do not know.

No 1. Ptychsoperma from Rockhampton said to be Pt. alexandrae, the under surface of the young plants are silvery- or glaucus-white, and are very similar to

No 2 which is a very tall thin stemed sp. — under surface silvery, flower stem pendulous always 2 one on each side of trunk at base of fronds as usual, seed bright crimson small & oval 2

No 3. Ptychosperma sp. Sent as Pt. alexandrae from one Hartmann a collector near Toowoomba Queensland, about 100 miles or more inland from Brisbane 3

No 4 This is what we know here as Seaforthia elegans — or Ptychosperma cunninghami 4 is it correctly named — the plant is common in the Illawarra district5

No 5. A most beautiful Fan Palm from Dalrymples Gap—where your Collector Dallichy6 was collecting so long nr. Cardwell 7 Some of the fronds were 6 feet in diameter — seeds round, crimson fronds almost peltate —margins [erregual]8 slightly & bluntly serrate — base of petiole having scattered thorns9

6) I also found a large sp of Callamus 10 with long needle shaped spines at the base of fronds and a small species with

7) short prickles but no long thin spines as in No 711 — both these species are quite distinct from the Richmond River12 Callamus, (australis (?)

I found Kentia Wendlandtiana13 and a sp of Corypha, more dwarf but similar to our C. (Livistonia14) australis — both these latter sp are scarce on the Herbert River — But Ptychosperma No 2 is the most common Palm in the district — — 

Should you desire I can send you seeds of all these —

I met with 3 distinct sp of Pandanus 2 Cycas, Bowenia F.v[M].15 and a great many other beautiful16 beautiful17 plants — For particularly among the Filices and allied groups — Tree ferns Orchids & Cycads, Katakidozamiae,18 Boweniae, I have been collecting largely as objects of merchandize and exchange. I could supply large quantities at very cheap rates — both stems of all sizes and seeds of all kinds I have fine Cycads 10 feet in height brought down last year now growing well in the open air — Last season I introduced from England 200 species of (new) Plants not hitherto offered for sale in the colonies; From Erfurt Prussia 25 varieties, America over 50, North Aust 150, including Palms Cycads and ferns, in addition to your valuable donations from the Bot. Gardens — If there is anything I can [...] do for you during my next tour on N E Coast of […] I trust you will let me know as soon as possible as I may return at any time now — I hope you will not consider me troublesome if I ask you to send me the names of the Palms as soon as convenient, as I have many orders to execute for seeds and cannot send any away untill I have the names

Seeds for Post this day —

I remain my dear

dr Mueller

yours very truly

Edward P. Ramsay19



Callamus australis

Corypha australis



Kentia Wendlandtiana

Livistonia australis


Ptychosperma cunninghami

Ptychsoperma alexandrae

Endeavour River, Qld. Except where otherwise noted, all locations mentoned are in Qld.
MS annotation by M: 'Herbert River'. To this M has added in pencil: 'Edw P. Ramsay'.
MS annotation by M: 'Albm pen ruminat' [Albumen deeply ruminate].
P. cunninghamii?
John Dallachy.
MS annotation interlined by M: 'Albumen grosse latere intrusum' [Albumen [penetrated] laterally by a thick intrusion].
MS annotation by M: 'Eadem ac illa a cl. Norm Taylor' [These and other things by the most distinguished Norm Taylor]. See M to E. Ramsay, 5 July 1874.
No. 6?
K. wendlandiana?
Livistona ?
Bowenia was erected not by M but by Joseph Hooker.
The Melbourne MS ends at this point; the remaining text is from Ramsay's letter-copy book.
Word repeated in going from one page to the next.
See also M to E. Ramsay, 5 July 1874, and E. Ramsay to M, 16 July 1874 and 16 August 1874.

Please cite as “FVM-74-06-26,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 27 November 2021,