To William Thiselton-Dyer   5 September 1892



It needs not my assurance, dear Dr Dyer, that I will send you seeds of Australian utilitarian plants as wished in your last kind letter2 whenever such are available. But in the depressed state of the Department I can not even now occasionally keep a collector in the field, so that the chances of obtaining seeds are only through Amateurs. Everything is so costly here, that I can do neither much by private means of mine.

Dr Cooke’s splendid work, concerning which I expressed my admiration in last week’s letter,3 will be reviewed by Professor Lucas, M.A., the Editor of the “Victorian Naturalist”,4 who for the purpose of eliciting some additional information, called on me. I am and always was adverse to a Gov. Official writing reviews; if we write to one periodical, we offend here the others. Thus also I discontinued reviewing the superb “Australian Orchids” of my lamented friend R. Fitzgerald, whose great monography, I trust, will by some arrangement here be continued, especially as he must have left many notes and drawings unpublished.5

He was partly drawn by me into his phytologic path, when in 1869 he accompanied Mr Moore to Lord Howe’s Island, and he risked ascending Mt Lidgebird, 3000' high, and I named the huge Dracophyllum Fitzgeraldi6 after him. My friendship with him remained unbroken, (which may show, that if I could after endless aid and forbearance not get on as well with all others here it was not my fault) til his death ended our contact; altho my views on specific demarcation were widely different from Mr Fitzgeralds.7 I only lately furnished him the Thelymitra epipactoides which as yet is known only from one single locality, though a very distinct plant. This reminds me of some allusion, I made to you, but to you only in my last letter, regarding the difficulty of obtaining aid from the other Austral Colonies in publishing here the many hundreds costly quarto-lithograms of plants. As an offset it must be remembered, that we in Victoria do not contribute to the heavy cost of the great N.S.W. work on Austral Orchids. I would also mention, lest my hurried last writing might not have been sufficiently circumspect and cautious, that N.S.W., S.A. & QL., subscribed to the extent of £50 - - , to each volume of Bentham’s Flora Australiensis, for which 7 volumes however my Department found £700 cash subsidy, and the expense of paying the freight to and fro’ of 70 large cases of bot. specimens on loan came with minor other obligations to £300 - - more.8


Regardfully your

Ferd von Mueller.9


I like to be friendly remembered to the hon. Mr Munro.10


Dracophyllum Fitzgeraldi

Thelymitra epipactoides

Date stamped Royal Gardens Kew 10. Oct. 92; annotated in black ink by John Baker:JGB 10/10/92.
Letter not found.
Cooke (1892); see M to W. Thiselton-Dyer, 30 August 1892.
The book was reviewed anonymously in Victorian naturalist , vol. 9, 1892, pp. 74-5.
Fitzgerald (1875–94). The last part for which Fitzgerald was responsible was published in March 1888; the final part, completed posthumously from Fitzgerald’s notes by Henry Deane, was published in 1894 (TL2).
M described Dracophyllum fitzgeraldi in B69.07.04, p. 27.
altho my views on specific demarcation were widely different from Mr Fitzgeralds is written in the margin of f. 35 which includes the textHe was partly drawn ... a very distinct plant. There is no indication of its intended position in the text, its placement here is an editorial decision.
M is presumably referring to his comments in M to W. Thiselton-Dyer, 19 August 1892.
The valediction is written in the left margin on the back of f. 35.
I like to be remembered to the hon. Mr Munro. is written in the left margin on the back of f. 34.

Please cite as “FVM-92-09-05,” 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 8 August 2022,