To William Thiselton-Dyer   21 October 1890

21/10/90.1

 

Am rejoycing, dear Mr Dyer, that your health improved in the light alpine air, in which respiration and oxygenation are so facilitated. There is a particular charm about alpine vegetation, such a freshness and such restrictedness! It is well, that your health should be of the firmest, for your responsibilities as well as your toil must always be great.

I learnt with great interest your success in "amputation" of Zamia-stems. That is quite a horticultural discovery! They are wonderful plants, these Cycadeae, for tenacity of life! I had stems 4 years dormant in a Warm-House before sprouting; — others had them double that time apparently lifeless, when they suddenly burst into leaves!

Always regardfully

your

Ferd. von Mueller.

 

Private

 

After Bailey2 learnt from Kew something of the affinity of the euphorbiaceous climber, he at once without hesitation adopts the American genus and rushes the plant into print.3 All his work is crude and superficial. A Bamboo, which I knew for 30 years, and of which I had leaves for some years, he at once describes as new,4 from leaves alone, without the slightest critical study and without any means of fixing the genus. I have never found any Botanist so rashly "rushing into print" on insufficient data, then him. This makes working with him very troublesome and unsatisfactory in many instances. His material in Brisbane is quite insufficient for critical research, and yet he is singularly self-sufficient. Help from here would be but little acknowledged. It does not take him much time to describe plants, as he "jumps hurriedly to conclusions" Many gross errors occur in his dealing with the Bellenden-Ker Mt5 plants; it was I, who directed his attention to the temperate flora there, of which he had no idea before[.] He places the same species of ferntree into two sections of the genus Alsophila.6

 

Alsophila

Cycadeae

Zamia

 
Date stamped: Royal Gardens Kew 2. Nov. 90.
i.e. F. M. Bailey.
Omphalea queenslandiae, Bailey (1889), p. 58. Bailey states, p. 59, that it was described from incomplete material.
Bambusa moorheadiana, Bailey (1889), p. 71.
Qld.
A. rebeccae and A. capensis, Bailey (1889), p. 74.

Please cite as “FVM-90-10-21,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 20 September 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/vonmueller/letters/90-10-21