To Alphonse de Candolle   24 October 1878



These lines, honored and dear Sir, are adressed to you from my sickbed, on which I have been thrown for some weeks, but I am gradually recovering and hope to move about again in a few days. I do however not like that the European mail should pass, without expressing to you the gratification, which I felt, when I received the first volume of the "monographiae".1 It seems, that I owe the early possession of this important volume to your own kindness, as it came direct from France, and thus I am doubly indebted to you for my best thanks. The copy ordered from Dulau's did not yet arrive.2

I am glad, that the flora of the world, at least as far as Phanerogamae are concerned, remains in the control of the family of D.C. as a well deserved inheritage; and if you are well supported with your illustrious son3 by the leading specialists, then of the vegetatio totius mundi phanerogama,4 50 volumes might be elaborated by the end of the century, & there will be little to add (though much to rearrange perhaps after that). It would and ought not to be difficult to bring out two volumes a year, as the "monographiae" will be indispensible to all Libraries of importance and all workers of plants of any note and all botanic Gardens. So the issue of two volumes a year ought to be remunerative to the firm of Masson5 also. It is not out of vanity, but because I have so far the best material & the most extended field-experience that I offered6 to write the Myrtaceae xerocarpicae for the Monographiae. I have since drawings prepared of many Eucalypts, lithograms of some of which I sent you; I have added many new Eucalypts and other Myrtaceous well marked spec. & have corrected many errors in vol. III of the Fl. Australiae7 from field observations. Of course the comparatively few Extra Austr. xerocarp. Myrtac. would need revision in Europe (after my notations) in which your illustrated8 son might afford some help, without much sacrifice of time. Some other would need to be found for the baccate Myrtaceae. There are some other almost exclusively Australian orders, for which I would have the best means to furnish the monographies e.g. Stylideae (aut si mavelis:9 Candolleaceae), Myoporinae (to which I have largely added in the later volumes of the fragmenta). Perhaps you might let me try the small family of Myoporinae first, before the attempt regarding the Myrtaceae was made. If I knew, which orders are under preparation for the second volume of the monographiae, I might send manuscript-contributions on the range of Australian species & some perhaps unpublished observations. Perhaps I might be allowed to point [out] to the learned M. Casimir D.C. that Beccari described recently in the publication of the Florence Museum a Flindersia (the occurrence of Flindersia in New Guinea having been pointed out by me first of all in the "Papuan plants"10). I have added myself in the fragm. the Flind. Ifflaana since[.]11 It was greatly pleasing me to see the genus Hearnia represented by 8 additional species in insular Asia,12 and doubtless others will be added from New Guinea &c, when once the jungle-forests there become explored. By this month's post I send you a specimen of Hedraianthera, a genus which I have perhaps incautiously placed in Meliaceae and which seems to have some affinity with Celastrineae, though the fruit reminds of that of Turraea. Bentham & Hooker place it into Leucocarpon (Denhamia) to which it not belongs. It must be admitted, that Meliaceae are as nearly related to Celastrineae as to Sapindaceae. M. Casimir D.C. may find Hedrianthera interesting as giving a clue of the nature of the disk & staminal tube of Meliaceae. The whole three Orders are excellently elaborated in this first volume. It is not likely, that much will be added either from South-Africa or Australia to Restiaceae. I may however remark, that I have already 2 years ago indicated in the volume of the New Zealand Institute a new genus, Sporadanthus, after I received the fruit of Lepyrodia? Traversii.13

Are supplements to appear gradually of the Monographiae?

My few Cucurbitaceae have gone to Cogniaux, and the few Pandaneae to Balfour.

I am most cheerfully anxious to send you museum-plants for the successive volumes, as they appear, if you & your son will be so kind to inform me of what orders will next appear. Prof. Radlkofer has received already specimens of all the Sapindaceae, which I had to spare, and also General Munro has received samples of all my grasses. I can send the plants to Trübner & Co., who — I believe — are still your agents.

With regardful remembrance

Ferd. von Mueller





Flindersia Ifflaana



Lepyrodia Traversii












Candolle (1878-96).
See M to A. de Candolle, 11 October 1878.
Casimir de Candolle.
phanerogam vegetation of the whole world.
Candolle's Parisian publisher, G. Masson.
See M to A. de Candolle, 5 June 1877.
Bentham (1868).
or if preferred.
B77.02.01, p. 84. Casimir de Candolle had written up Flindersia in Candolle (1878-96), vol. 1, pp. 728-35.
Flindersia iflaiana, B77.02.03, p. 94.
Candolle (1878-96), vol. 1, pp. 628-32.
M published the name Sporodanthus but no formal description in B74.06.03; he had described L. traversi in B73.08.10, p. 79, commenting 'Planta femina mihi deest' [I am lacking female plants]. It was listed as a new genus by Buchanan (1875), p. 340; see de Lange et al. (1999) for a discussion of the history of the taxon.

Please cite as “FVM-78-10-24,” 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 30 September 2022,