From Frederick Bailey1    21 October 1879

Robert St Brisbane

Oct 21st 1879

Dear Baron Mueller

I have nothing much to send but have forgotten if I told you that the stringy bark so common about Brisbane is only the species Bentham call a doubtfull form of E. pilularis Sm. I have always made it out to be E. acmenioides Schau. 2 I have never fallen in with E. eugenioides Sieb. I forward you a few more specimens today for you to see in case you did not get the former E. acmenioides The obtaining of specimens of the Eucalypts of Queensland is by no means easy I have gone to some expense and much trouble in writing to persons thinking it would assist you in your great and valuable work the Eucalyptographia3 but unfortunately mistakes will arise. The fruit specimens of E. ochrophloia I had from the person Mr John Ahern of Blackall through whose assistance I got the flowers of same species for you some time back so of course thought they might be right but noticed at the time that there was probably some mistake but still sent them on to you. I still maintain that my Dendrobium fusiforme is a distinct species4 I have not seen the description of Fitzalan in the Syd Morn. Herald.5 In all my few writings I am sure I have never been backward in acknowledging the help received from yourself and should do so again in the new work I purpose publishing on the Australian ferns6 All I want is to make the work complete so should like to have any new species you may have got since the Flora Austr. publication described in my new work. I also wished to consult you on the advisability of placing Aspidium tenericaule Thw. as in my handbook with the Polypodium to which it undoubtfully belongs being always exindusiate.

Again I wanted you to see if the specimens I have sent of a fern I gathered at the Trinity Bay range7 agrees with what you made Polypodium rufescens Bl. I think they do and it certainly is not an Aspidisium. I look upon Aspidium decompositum Spr as well marked but it has been a fancy of some to throw all doubtful species here in a mass I expect you will not agree with me so shall have to go my own way But I wrote you the other day on the same subject so now will say no more.8 Thanking you again for your promised continued assistance believe me

Ever your much obliged

F. M. Bailey


P.S. People may say what they like about the establishment at Kew Eng. but I speak as an Australian and from that point of view I cannot help looking upon Kew as the great stumbling block of botanical nomenclature Mr Baker9 has destroyed the fern classification and I certainly feel very sorry that so great and good a man as Bentham should have given up to him. perhaps few will agree with me but this is my opinion



Aspidium decompositum

Aspidium tenericaule

Dendrobium fusiforme

Eucalyptus acmenioides

Eucalyptus eugenioides

Eucalyptus ochrophloia

Eucalyptus pilularis

Polypodium rufescens

MS annotation by M: 'Answ 26/10/79 F.v.M.' Letter not found.
In a note to the entry for E. pilularis, Bentham (1863-78), vol. 3, p. 208 discusses whether the possible var. acmeniodes could rank as a species.
M’s work was issued in parts beginning with B79.13.11; decades 1 and 2 were published by 27 August 1879, when they were advertised as 'now ready' (Argus, 27 August 1879, p. 3). col. b).
Bailey (1878), p. 227, treats the form as a variety of D. speciosum, but implies that he had previously described it as a species. However, no earlier description as D. fusiforme has been found. In Bailey (1899-1905), part 5, p. 1527, this paper is cited as the source of the description of the species, whereas in Bailey (1890), p. 509, it is treated as a variety.
Fitzgerald? It is not clear to which of his descriptions Bailey refers. The most recent Dendrobium that Fitzgerald described in the Sydney morning herald was D. falcorostrum, 18 November 1876, p. 7.
Bailey (1881).
See F. Bailey to M, 2 October 1879.
W. Hooker & Baker (1868).

Please cite as “FVM-79-10-21,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 23 October 2021,