To Joseph Hooker   20 October 1879



I would beg of you, dear Sir Joseph, to cause to be compared an original specimen of L. elongatus1 of Cunningham from Bathurst, as authoritative for the species. You seem to have cautiously distinguished the desert-plant from the Tasmanian species in the fl. Tasm.,2 as I originally had done (vide Linnaea 1852)3 altho' both were subsequently united in the flor. Austr.4

I have worked out the two spec. with their geogr. range & synonymy for the fragmenta or "native plants",5 but as both occur mixed on the Lachlan-River (as noticed by me last year)6 — I am not absolutely sure, whether your L. elongatus is that of D.C., though I think so. Sonder made yours L. elongatus var Tasmanicus, so if distinct from D.C.'s it would take the name L. Tasmanicus.

The differences are between both well-marked. L. medius (L. elongatus, flor. Austr partim), has no gradual but a sudden transit from leaves to bracteal scales, an annual root, yellow not whitish florets, short turgid almost smooth achenes with a long very thin beak & very fine pappus hair — (not elongated gradually attenuated rough achenes with more serrulated and at the apex thickened hairs of the pappus. I send two specimens to facilitate recognition. L. medius does not extend to Tasmania, while L. elongatus (or L. Tasmanicus) seemingly does not reach West. Austr. I feel sure you like to clear this up also for future correct reference in the Kew Herbarium.7

Regardfully your

Ferd. von Mueller.

Leptorhynchos elongatus

Leptorhynchos medius


Leptorhynchos elongatus.
Hooker (1855- 60), vol. 1, p. 208.
Sonder (1852), p. 502.Presumably the specimens were sent with M’s names and notes, which Sonder followed. See Lucas (1995).
Bentham (1863-78), vol. 3, p. 610.
B79.13.08 does notinclude the Compositae; no further volumes were published. M dealt with the distinction between L. elongatus and L. medius in B80.02.02, pp. 85-6.
See M to G. Bentham, 29 September 1878.
MS annotation by Hooker: 'And Dec 26/79Mueller is right.' Letter not found.Despite Hooker's opinion, neither M nor Hooker seems to have published Hooker's form as L. tasmanicus: there is no entry in IPNI.

Please cite as “FVM-79-10-20,” 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 29 September 2023,