From George Day   6 March 1879

Little Bendigo1

March 6th 1879

 

To Dr Baron von Mueller

 

Dear Baron

I send you a few notes on several things and would have sent you them before but I went to South Gippsland to see about a selection2 there. I went down Tuesday week and returned last Saturday. I fully intended to have called on you but time would not allow, therefore on these grounds I beg to apologise for my delay.

Accept my best thanks for your Fragmenta, and also for mentioning my name in connection with: Velleya connata.3

1st Can the potato be grown in the interior? Yes; when at the Cobar Copper mine in New South Wales I saw very fine potatoes which had been grown by a person of the name of Wm Crew in a reddish sandy soil; they were dug up about May. The above were grown without irrigation although the season was favorable. But I fully believe that a good potato crop could be ensured were the cultivators to irrigate. It is a crop that would well repay any ordinary trouble in that way of irrigation as they charge 6 pence per pound.

I mention this to show how the potato could be acclimatised for many persons in those parts declare that they will not grow.

2ndly The Date palm is it a suitable plant for the interior? Yes; I have seen seeds thrown out on a rubbish heap (consisting of slaty stone soil etc) germinate and grow vigorously and had reached 18 inches in height, thus proving what you have suggested viz. the suitableness of Date planting in the interior. Those plants were growing without either protection or care.

 

Number of plants growing promiscuously on a space of 6 feet square soil red sandy soil on Trida Station near Mossgiel between the rivers Lachlan and Darling


Number

Sida (prostrate species)

70

Erodium cygnorum

35

Solanum esuriale

31

puce composite (perennial)

15

Euphorbia (prostrate)

13

Calocephalus —

12

Echinospermum concavum

8

Plantago —

5

Thus showing the Total of

189

plants occurring in the previous named space, but the above numbers are given as the maximum and could not be taken as a criterion of general occurrence or numerical promiscuousness of the above mentioned plants.4

 

Calocephalus

Echinospermum concavum

Erodium cygnorum

Euphorbia

Plantago

Sida

Solanum esuriale

Velleya connata

Vic. The address, handwriting and subject-matter identify the writer as Day. See also n. 3 below.
In Australia this referred to the choosing, or selecting, of a tract of Crown Land by one who has an entitlement to a specified area of unidentified land or by one who intends to purchase.
In B79.01.01, p. 75, M cited Day's report that Velleya connata occurred between the Lachlan and Darling Rivers, NSW.
MS may be incomplete; text ends at bottom of page, without valediction.

Please cite as “FVM-79-03-06,” 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 17 April 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/vonmueller/letters/79-03-06