From Charles La Trobe to Ronald Gunn   8 October 1852

Melbourne 8 Octr 1852

My dear Mr Gunn —

Our corresponde[nce] is an intermittent one — but I trust that it will never altogether cease. So you hear nothing from Owen about the skull — Perhaps he is as busy as I am — & in that case he had an excuse for procrastination, tho it were the skull of Tobits' Fish. — I never supposed the 'teeth' would have any great interest for you as they were [...]1 comparatively fresh. You judge rightly that I have not much time for natural history — however my interest in it is unabated & I am always glad to get hold of any one who knows anything about it & is observant. Such 'ingenious Birds' are very rare here however. Swainson who has been exploring the Illawarra dist — wrote to me some time since, stating that he had made an offer to the Govr Genl to examine & describe the timber trees of the Colony, — gums more especially, — and that if not accepted, he should be glad to be employed in a similar way in Victoria. I lost no time in trying to secure him, as I am sure he will add to our knowledge of what we are, & what we have in many ways & N.S.W. having rejected his offer, he comes here. There is an honest looking German here, Dr Müller, who as far as I can judge seems to be more of a botanist than any man I have hitherto met with in the Colony; and I shall give him every encouragt. — He has furnished me with the description of the genus Latrobea of Meisner. Both the species brunonis & genistoides were formerly ranked as Pultenaea it appears. I have no specimen but if I can procure any from any quarter, will take care that you get it. He tells me that an exceedingly pretty dwarf acacia flowering most abundant[ly]2 in its native soil at Jolimont has been distinguished by my name also,3 So you see I am likely to go down to posterity in another form [...]4 that of the 'withering curse' which the Democrats of P.P.5 one time gave me — or that of the 'Flying Pieman' which was bestowed by your choice Colonists of Tasmania! Good bye. Let me hear from you again — Mrs Latrobe adds many kind regards to you & yours

yrs tly

C. J. Latrobe


Latrobea brunonis

Latrobea genistoides

Pultenaea genistoides

Pultenaea brunonis

editorial additionobscured by binding.
Acacia latrobei Meissn. See Lehmann (1844-7).
Port Phillip.

Please cite as “FVM-M52-10-08,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 6 December 2021,