To William Thiselton-Dyer   5 September 1881



I have to thank you, dear Mr Dyer, for the photograms of Cycadeae, received from you. It needs not my assurance, that I will gladly aid you in any monographic work on that order; but it so happened, that my interest in the Cycads awoke anew, when I elaborated the description of Zamia Moorei,1 and I put myself then in communication with several correspondents in regions, where Cycadeae grow, to obtain additional material and fuller notes on several species2 I presume, there is no great hurry about this, especially as you must be very busy in spare hours to finish the 4th vol of the flora Capensis.3

Meanwhile palaeontologic research goes also on, so that you can do justice to the Cycadeae also of former ages

The name Peroffskian[a]4 among these noble plants, uncalled for as it was,5 ought to be banished after the imperatricidal horrors of St Petersburg.6

Best thanks for the fragments of Euc. stricta.7 I am now at last free from the work of the international Exhibition;8 so I can resume the writing of the text for the Eucalyptography9 & for some other works under progress.

Regardfully your

Ferd. von Mueller.


We look forward with great interest to your report on the Bordeaux Congress, concerning the Phylloxera Vastatrix.10

I will try to procure for you a tall stem of Cycas media, but this cannot be done for a few £.

Beccari was quite wrong in reducing Cycas papuana as he acknowledged subsequently11



Cycas media

Cycas papuana

Eucalyptus stricta

Macrozamia peroffskiana

B81.03.01, p. 84, as Macrozamia moorei.
See, for example, F Kempe to M, 9 July 1881, and P O'Shanesy to M, 17 August 1881.
Thiselton-Dyer's continuation ofthe Flora capensiscommenced by Harvey and Sonder was long delayed. Vols. 6 and 7 appeared in 1896-7 and 1897-1900 respectively, but the two sections of vol. 4 were not published until 1909 and 1904 (TL2).
Macrozamia peroffskiana.
For M’s earlier comments on the inappropriateness of the name see M to G. Bentham 26 September 1873.
Tsar Alexander II of Russia was assassinated on 13 March (1 March O.S.) 1881. One of those alleged to be involved was ‘the woman Perowsky’ (The Times, 26 March 1881, p. 7).
See M to W. Thiselton Dyer, 7 May 1881.
International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1880-1.
Presumably for Decade 8 (B82.13.17). E. stricta appeared in Decade 10 (B84.13.19).

Thiselton-Dyer (1882). In his Introduction, dated 5 September 1882, Thiselton Dyer wrote:

I trust the unavoidable delay on my part, from the pressure of multifarious official duties, in submitting this report, will not have entailed any inconvenience. The postponement has, at any rate, afforded me the opportunity of obtaining authentic information, which I trust will be found to be not without value. (¶22, p. 9).

Thiselton-Dyer was paid an honorarium of 100 guineas (£105), receipt of which he acknowledged in a letter of 26 October 1882 (copy at RBG Kew, Archives. Misc. Reports 1.52. Bordeaux Congress [1881], f. 86). For the background to Thiselton-Dyer’s appointment, see M to J. Hooker, 23 July 1881 and notes thereto.

Beccari (1877-90), vol. 1, p. 178. Beccari's retraction has not been found.

Please cite as “FVM-81-09-05,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 26 October 2021,