To Edward Ramsay   4 July 1874




Since writing to you, dear Mr Ramsay,1 I have again looked over such material of Palms as I have here left, the main lot went on loan four years ago already to Wendland, and came to one important result. Your shield-palm is new, and I have given your & your fathers name to this Livistona.2 So you can now name the seeds. The diagnosis has gone to print for the outgoing mail.3 It is nearest to the Indian L. rotundifolia. If you can give me yet some notes on its hight & localities &c aculei of petiole &c I can use them supplementary. The Step-palm of Mount Elliot with the step-like rings is likely a species of Ptychosperma. I have no seed of it! There is now also no doubt on my mind, that the true Ptychosperma elegans of Blume (Seaforthia elegans of RBr, but not of Cunningham, Hooker &c) is the extremely slender palm from Whitsunday Island with red fruit.

Could you not get from Mr Hill (without mentioning my name) obtain fruits at least of his Areca minor and the new supposed Cocos? I telegraphed to him; but I do not expect he will send them to me as he has been throughout reluctant to place material in my hands, which is but natural, because it fell generally to my lot then to point out that the plants were even often generically misplaced. I find also that the Palm, named by Mr Moore from Cape York Caryota urens is not the true one, though it may be identical with some other of the many Indian palms. Have you any means of getting me flowers & seeds of it from Somerset.4

Regardfully your

Ferd. von Mueller


Areca minor

Caryota urens


Livistona rotundifolia

Ptychosperma elegans

Seaforthia elegans

Letter not found.
M named Livistona ramsayi in B74.08.01, p. 221.
The mail that took M to G Bentham, 14 July 1874 (in this edition as 74-07-14a), his  monthly letter to Bentham,  closed at 1 pm on 16 July (‘Mails outward’, Argus, 8 July 1874, p. 4).
Near the northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula, Qld.

Please cite as “FVM-74-07-04,” 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 2 March 2024,