From Joseph Hooker1    1 October 1880

Octr. 1 /80

Dear Mueller

I wanted to thank you for the most acceptable Palms; your letter2 & Fragmenta. I keep Bacularia, though I fear that it will have to contain species that (as with so many other genera) do not accommodate themselves to the origin of the name.

I see that some of the imperfectly known Australian Palms are already flowering in Hills3 Garden at Brisbane. I wish I could recognize your Halorageas affinity of Batis? The pedaloid scales between the stamen, & the erect ovule & erect Exalbuminous seed short radicle & large cotyledons seem wholly opposed to that alliance4 — I do not see why you say I have overlooked Grisebach's notes. I referred to them but found nothing worth noting — he never even saw the ♀ flowers & adds nothing to our knowledge of the plant

I see you have Athrotaxis from the continent of Australia — that is very interesting.5

The Asa Grays left us this morning after a fortnights visit for the continent. They will spend 2 months in Spain. We shall join them in the S. of France we hope about Xmas for 2 months tour in Italy. I have had no vacation this year. The Grays will return to Kew for the summer.

I find the genera of Palms a most serious matter — I had hoped to reduce the genera largely, but am quite unable, the characters of the ♂ flowers [usually] are so remarkable & various. Wendland has been here & most kind & helpful — he certainly has a wonderful knowledge of them both by habit & characters. Beccari has sent me his complete & splendid collection for study. — I do wish I could reduce the genera as he has done but I see no choice between many genera of Arecinae and one to include a most heterogeneous assemblage. I never was more puzzled.

Ever sincerely yr

JD Hooker.






MS embossed with the crest of Royal Gardens Kew.
See M to J. Hooker, 10 August 1880.
Walter Hill, superintendent of the Brisbane Botanic Garden.
See B80.13.07, p. 43: ‘This halorageous shrub…’, See also systematic index on p. 372.
Hooker appears to have misinterpreted the comment ‘Athrotaxis selaginoides ad montes Fieldii praersitim circum lacum Fetonii vidid’ in B80.02.02, p. 104. Mt Field is in Tasmania, which Hooker would not have counted as part of the continent of Australia.

Please cite as “FVM-80-10-01,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 28 September 2021,