To Edward Ramsay   21 January 1879



It was very attentive of you, dear Mr Ramsay, to send me the notes on the palms with fan-leaves of North Queensland,1 and that you followed up this enquiry by instructions to your collector on the Johnson-River.2 We ought to clear up, what really the Livistona is, which resembles so much the southern L. australis. Unless the inflorescence is terminal, it cannot be a corypha.

Can Livistona Ramsayi have been wrongly united with Licuala Muelleri? your N. 3. by Bentham?3 In the latter the leaves slit up into narrow segments at least in age, but that is the case also in your L. Ramsayi — I suppose —. We need the flowers of both, if both are distinct, to settle the generic position of both also finally. There ought to be not much difficulty of your collector to get the flowers.4

Your N. 4 has the fruit structure of Livistona & Corypha; we must know, whether the flowers are terminal or intrafoliaceous or beneath the leaves from the stem; also the flowers only show whether it should go into Licuala or Livistona perhaps; when ripe seeds are got, we shall know what color the pericarp is.

I like to be informed about the progress of the arrangements of your Papuan Expedition. What is it, that Goldie brought?


Ferd. von Mueller.



Licuala Muelleri

Livistona Ramsayi

Notes not found.
Johnston River, Qld.
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 7, p. 145; see also M to E. Ramsay, 3 January 1878.
On 1 October 1878, William Woolls wrote to Ramsay: 'In a letter which I recd from the Baron yesterday [letter not found], he expresses a wish that you should procure for him some good specimens of the Palm which he named Livistona Ramsayi after you. He thinks that Mr Bentham had made some mistake in uniting another with it, & that you may enable him to clear up the difficulty' (ML MSS.563/3, E. P. Ramsay papers, Mitchell Library, Sydney).

Please cite as “FVM-79-01-21a,” 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 20 April 2024,