To William Thiselton-Dyer   25 January 1885



In accordance with your desire, dear Mr Dyer, I will send you some rooted fresh stems of Xanthorrhoea; but it will have to stand over til about Easter, as this present time would be too hot for moving among such plants. In nature they do not die off after flowering; may I be allowed to point out to you, that to keep them alive, they should get a good supply of sandy heath-soil,2 and that would need to be renewed at not too long intervals. An other parcel of dried plants was forwarded by last mail. The many obligations here in a Department, so little supported, rendered and still render extrawork of this kind even with my best wishes very tedious.

If the fernstems perished last winter, before your protective arrangements were completed, I will send some more soon after Easter, when the second cycle of fronds of the season will be matured, so that they can then advantageously be cut away, and leave the young ones to commence to form during the voyage.

Regardfully your

Ferd. von Mueller.


I have recently learnt, that altogether only 5 specimens of Asplenium Robinsonii have been found in Norfolk Island; the manner of growth of the fronds is cyclic as in A. Nidus.

By this post I send some Lycopodiaceae just received with other plants from New Guinea. Kindly arrange that the names are supplied; also of one Crinum.3

I hope, that some few months ago a copy of the American Edition of the “select plants” reached Kew.4 Mr Davis, the publisher at Detroit, informed me, that an elegantly bound copy was despatched to Kew besides a few others to other places. M. Alph. de Candolle who had never taken any notice of the former editions in his writings writes, that he received his all right.

I have and had no pecuniary interest whatever in the issue or in the sale of any of the editions of the “select plants”

You will find for reference this edition still more useful than any of the former ones, so I should think at least. An error, perhaps multiplied, crept in. My Assistant helped me in making (on my request) the needful extracts about the hardiness of some trees &c in Norway. Unfortunately I did not revise these additions, and now I find to my dismay, that Ricinus is put down as hardy in Norway, while it should have been stated, that it would bear the summer-temperature there.5 I at once wote to Prof. Schuebeler, to explain how this mishap originated.6

Did you see the notice from the Curator here about plants coming from K. Georges Sound7 fresh to Melbourne, as given in the “Chronicle”.8 When I went to KGS in 1867, I brought several large baskets full of fresh flowers for drying with me to Melbourne. The Eucalyptus ficifolia is alluded to in a manner, as if it was new to culture, while more than 20 years ago it was noted in the Argus and other journals here as flowering in my Garden.

Are among your seedlings any of Xanthorrhoea gracilis? It is an early flowering species early in its life.9


Asplenium Nidus

Asplenium Robinsonii


Eucalyptus ficifolia



Xanthorrhoea gracilis

Annotated by W. Thiselton-DyerP[rof] OAnd 20/3/85 Answering letter not found.
Vertical line in left margin next toto point out …heath-soil.
Vertical line in left margin next to Kindly arrange . . . Crinum.
B84.13.22. American Edition underlined in red pencil.
B84.13.22, p. 321 has ‘At Christiania it grew to 12 feet in height and bore fruit, and it endured the cold even to Lat. 68° 7' (Prof. S chuebeler) ’; subsequent editions have ‘… fruit, and it is reared as a summer plant even …’. The source used by M is Schübeler (1873–5), p. 327.
Letter not found.
King George Sound, WA.
Guilfoyle (1884).
Are among . . . life is a marginal note in left margin f. 135 front . The beginning of the sentence is marked by a red X, doubly underlined in blue, and there is an annotation yes | W. W. at the end of the sentence.

Please cite as “FVM-85-01-25a,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 27 October 2021,