Letter (WCP2326.2216)

[1]1, 2


Aug[ust] 3/[18]75

My dear Wallace

New Zealand plants are remarkably scentless both in regard to the absence rarity of scented flowers, — of leaves with all immersed3 glands containing essential oils — &[?] of glandular hairs. I remember no scented roots — & only one or two barks.4 The notable Exceptions are the genus Alseuosmia (so called on this account)5 which6 consists of 3[?] [2] species confined to the N. half of the N. Island7 whose flowers are extraordinarily sweet.

Piper excelsum8,9 whose leaves are highly aromatic & Drimys axillaris10which is so in all parts & a very few others.

The middle island11,12 has furnished a large accession[?]12 of plants with handsome flowers, so since I wrote my Essay13 — especially Ranunculi herbaceous Composites14 & shrubby Veronicas. [3]15

Ever sincerely y[ou]r | Jos D Hooker16 [signature]

The letter is written on mourning (i.e. black-edged) paper.
Annotated in pencil in an unknown hand in the top right corner "319".
"immersed" is circled in pencil.
Annotated in ink, possibly in ARW's hand, in the left margin "(barks)".
Alseuosmia (the name derived from Greek "grove of trees" and "sweet perfume"), are New Zealand shrubs with highly scented flowers.
There is a square bracket in pencil before the word "which".
There is a square bracket in pencil after the word "plants".
Piper excelsum: common name kawakawa or pepper tree.
"Piper excelsum" is enclosed in pencilled square brackets.
"Drimys axillaris" is enclosed in pencilled square brackets.
"Island" is bracketed by pencilled vertical lines.
The illegible word is enclosed in pencilled curved brackets.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton. (1853). Introductory essay to the flora of New Zealand. London. Lovell Reeve.
In the 19th century, what is now known as South Island, New Zealand, was commonly referred to as Middle Island or New Munster, and the name South Island or New Leinster was used for the much smaller island now called Stewart Island/Rakiura.
Annotated in pencil in an unknown hand in the top right corner "320".
Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817 — 1911) British botanist and explorer. Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1865 -1885, in succession to his father, William Jackson Hooker.

Please cite as “WCP2326,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 25 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP2326