To William Thiselton-Dyer   17 May 1878



I got your letter of the 18 March1 this day, dear Mr Dyer, and altho’ I am ill and my spirit is broke, I will reply as the American mail leaves tomorrow, the pacific ocean line having also brought the letter, now to be answered.

I will endeavour to obtain Duboisia leaves for extract, but since the bot. Garden was change into lawns and [Ri]bbonbowers mainly, such a host of valuable plants is sacrificed by Mr Casey’s cousin (the Sydney Nurseryman)2 that it is not likely, now any of the two Duboisias to exist in Victoria under culture. I will write to Queensland to obtain the material from thence.

This instance, - and such are of daily occurrence - shows you how stultified and helpless, the Gov Botanist is, without his Garden, Laboratory & other working-means.

I found out for Dr Bancroft, what the Pitury was, and drew his attention then to D. myoporoides.3 Have you not the latter in Kew?

I shall reply to a kind letter of Sir Joseph also by this mail.4


Ferd. von Mueller.


Any seeds in return pray send to me direct, not to the bot. Garden, as otherwise the party there would in this respect also take unscrupulously advantage of my work with utter suppression of myself.

I have only today received the fruits of Capparis Mitchelli,5 concerning which you wrote to me a long time ago. They will be despatched by next Suez Mail.6

Duboisia myoporoides

Capparis Mitchelli

Letter not found.
William Guilfoyle.

The following undated cutting is pasted onto the front of the next folio in the volume (f. 255) but may not have been enclosed with the letter:

Duboisia Hopwoodii, F.v. Mueller.

The Pitury. Inland desert regions from New South Wales and Queensland to near the West Coast of Australia. This shrub deserves cultivation on account of its highly stimulating properties; it has also come into use for opthalmic surgery (Bancroft, Rudall) with D. myoporoides of East Australia and New Caledonia. The alkaloid of the latter, Duboisin, may prove identical with the Piturin of Staiger.

It is possible to read the text printed on the reverse of the cutting, (the text that appeared under the heading Fagus ferruginea), which confirms that the cutting is from B78.13.08, p. 201.

M published Duboisia hopwoodii in B76.01.01, p. 20. See, for an account of the commercial use of Duboisia, Foley (2006).

J. Hooker to M, 20 March 1878 (letter not found); M to J. Hooker, 18 May 1878.
C. mitchellii?
See M to W. Thiselton-Dyer, 15 March 1878 (in this edition as 78-03-15a) and notes thereto, and W. Woolls to M, 8 March 1878 (in this edition as 78-03-08a) .

Please cite as “FVM-78-05-17,” 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 25 September 2022,