From Frederick Bailey1    2 October 1879

Robert St. Brisbane

Oct 2nd 1879

Dear Baron Mueller

The other day Mr Bernays2 gave me a lot of old specimens most of which by the bye had gone to the bad but amongst them were a few of a peculiar variety of Dipodium punctatum RBr. I send you a specimen Mr Bernays gave me at the time he gathered it on Peel Island Moreton Bay3 in 1875 The flowers are a beautiful yellow spotted or blotched with purple much larger than any I have seen of the true species which is a reddish purple. I divide with you what I have of these specimens in hopes you may be able to touch up your former notes

Another curiosity I would bring under your notice. The other day while gathering some fern specimens I gathered what at the time I took for Hypolepis tenuifolia Bernh. but in drying it I found it not a Hypolepis at all but being in fact nearer to Microlepia but the whole growth is that of Hypolepis the slender form or Polypodium punctatum, Thunb There is another question I would ask that is about the Polypodium which has been mixed with Aspidium decompositum Spreng. and Polypodium rufescens, Blume or our plant (northern) like that fern. I think these identical they differing only indumentum Thus the form on Brisbane River has a shiny appearance quite glossy on the upperside The northern form covered with reddish short hairs. Hence perhaps Blume's name if I am right in my determination. Rhizome in both much the same shortly oblique or erect [slender]. Kindly look at these fern specimens and say if it would be safe to give them names I do not think I am quite sure they are distinct and exindusiate than Polypodium — I am the more anxious just now about these ferns as I think of publishing a fresh work on filices and shall enclude the whole of the Australian species4 Looking at the order as a whole there [are]5 two fourths in Q-land with one or more of the other colonies, one 4th in Q-land without other colonies and only one fourth not as yet found in Q-land so I think it unwise not to enclude the whole, and from your former kindness to me dating from your landing in Australia6 I feel sure you will give me your great assistance in all difficulties And of which the question now asked are my first much as I dislike the order I shall follow that given in the Flora7 but if you will help me some of the glaring mistakes can be put to rights In the mean while believe me dear friend your greatly indebted

F. M. Bailey


I posted some Eucalypts the other day


Aspidium decompositum

Dipodium punctatum

Hypolepis tenuifolia


Polypodium punctatum

Polypodium rufescens

MS annotation by M: 'Answ. 12/10/79. F.v.M.' Letter not found.
L. A. Bernays.
Bailey (1881).
word omitted .
M and Bailey first met in Adelaide, soon after M arrived in Australia in December 1847, when M made contact with Bailey's father, the Adelaide nurseryman John Bailey.
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 7.

Please cite as “FVM-79-10-02,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 20 September 2021,