From William Allitt1    26 November 1883

Tyrendarra2 Nov 26th — 1883

Baron von Mueller,

Government Botanist Melbourne,


My Dear Sir,

It is many years, since I have had the pleasure of communication with you. In those years I hope that you have been prosperous in your undertakings, and health.

A few years back I started a small nursery at my place, but at present it does not pay, but I trust that it will do so in time, having to trust to Melbourne for receiving Plants and Bulbs from time to time for my nursery, and also to send away. I find now that it is not safe to send anything that I do not know out, for feer that they are rong named, untill I see them flower, for having duplicats of them I find that I receive at times a number of names with Bulbs, and when they flower they are all or a number of them the same.

From your long experience with the growers, I feel sure that you can give me the names of a few that I can depend on, also the name of some Sydney firm that I can get single Camelias from to graft, and an American firm, for which I shall feel much obliged.

There is also a Mr Bull a nurseryman in England that I should like to correspond with If I could get his address, he was under me for the first year he started to learn the nursery work in the hard wood department, at Mr Hendersons nursery St Johns wood London — I have just now in flower (childanthus fragrans3) with these names. (Amaryllis lutea) (Pancratium maritimum) (Phaedranassa chloracea4) (Sternbergia clussiana5) also a number of Amaryllis spec the same varieties or spc with various names, and as my Botanical knowledge is only slight, and my Library only small, I have a job to rectify the nurserymens mistakes if mistakes they are. — The enclosed flower I received many years ago from Sydney under the name of (Ixia pyrimidallis gracillis) I have often examined it but can never make it out to be an Ixia. Law Sumner6 tells me that it is now called (Sporaxis Pulcherrima7) neither can I make it out to be a (Sporaxis) and shall feel much obliged if you will tell me its name, it is almost a evergreen Bulb, I must now beg to apologize to you for the troubl that I am giving you, and thanks for all past favours.

I am dear Sir yours most respectfuly

W Allitt



I have this season risen a number of Chrysanthemums from seed, if any turne out good, are they named by you, in England in my time Dr Lindly regerstered all good seedlings plants.8



Childanthus fragrans

Phaedranassa chloracea

Sternbergia clussiana


Ixia pyrimidallis gracillis

Sporaxis Pulcherrima


MS annotation by M: 'Answ 10/12/83 FvM.' Letter not found.
Chlidanthus fragrans?
Phaedranassa chloracra?
Sternbergia clisoana?
i.e. the Melbourne nursery suppliers Law Somner & Co.
Sparaxis pulcherrima?
John Lindley, presumably in his role as Secretary of the Horticultural Society.

Please cite as “FVM-83-11-26,” 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 21 March 2023,