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Letter 4881A

Müller, J. F. T. to Darwin, C. R.

12 Aug 1865

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    Thanks CD for his paper on climbing plants. Lists the many genera that he has found in his area in a short period since reading CD's paper. [See 4881.]

Transcription

Desterro, Brazil,

12. August 1865.

Verehrter Herr!

Vor wenigen Tagen empfing ich Ihre Abhandlung über Kletterpflanzen, und ich beeile mich, Ihnen für diese werthvolle Gabe meine Dankbarkeit auszudrücken. Ich habe sie mit dem grössten Interesse gelesen und bin sehr froh, dass meine Aufmerksamkeit auf diese merkwürdigen Pflanzen gelenkt worden ist, die in unserer Flora so ausserordentlich häufig sind. In ein paar Tagen sammelte ich, nachdem ich Ihre Arbeit gelesen hatte, in der Umgegend von Desterro die folgenden Gattungen von kletternden Pflanzen: Spirally twining: Dioscorea, Alströmeria (subgen. Bomarea, Boussingaultia, Hebanthe, (Goruplerena), Aristolochia, Micania, Manettia, Condylocarpon, Echites, Prestonia, Oxypetalum und einige andere Asclepiadeen, Tournefortia, Ipomoea (zahlreiche Arten), Calonyction, Cuscuta, Thunbergia (eingeführt), Mendozia, Cocculus (?), Davilla, Anchietia, Tetrapterys, Peixotoa, Brachypteris (?), Thryallis, Dicella, Dalechampia, Mucuna, Caravillia; leaf-climbers: Clematis, Fumaria (eingeführt) Tropaeolum; Ranken-träger (Tendril-bearers): Smilax, Mutisia, Strychnos, Haplolophium, Bignonia (zahlreiche Arten), Cissus, Passiflora (6 Arten), Momordica, Sechium (kultiviert) und verschiedene andere Cucurbitaceen, Serjania, Paullinia, verschiedene Papilionaceen; Hakenklimmer (Hook-climbers): Galium (Relbunium Endlicher) Büttneria, Rubus; Wurzelklimmer (Root-climbers): Vanilla, verschiedene Aroideen, Piper. Ich kann noch hinzufügen die Gattungen Lygodium, Blumenbachia, Solandra, Combretum, Tragia, die ich früher in anderen Theilen unserer Provinz sah. Da ich früher den windenden Pflanzen keine besondere Aufmerksamkeit widmete, so bin ich zur Zeit nicht im Stande, Ihnen Aufklärung über ihre Gewohnheiten zu geben.

Translation

Desterro, Brazil,

12. August 1865

My dear Sir,

A few days ago I received your essay on climbing plants, and I hasten to express my thanks for this valuable gift. I have read it with the greatest interest and I am very happy that my attention has been directed to these remarkable plants which are so extraordinarily plentiful in our Flora. In a couple of days I collected in the surroundings of Desterro, after I had read your work, the following genera of climbing plants: Spirally twining: Dioscorea, Alströmeria (subgenus Bomarea, Boussingaultia, Hebanthe, (Goruplerina), Aristolochia, Micania, Manettia, Condylocarpon, Echites, Prestonia, Oxypetalum and a few other Asclepiads, Tournefortia, Ipomoea (numerous species), Calonyction, Cuscuta, Thunbergia (introduced), Mendozia, Cocculus (?), Davilla, Anchietia, Tetrapterys, Peixotoa, Brachypteris (?), Thryallis, Dicella, Dalechampia, Mucuna, Caravillia; leaf climbers: Clematis, Fumaria (introduced) Tropaeolum; Tendril bearers: Smilax, Mutisia, Strychnos, Haplolophium, Bignonia (numerous species), Cissus, Passiflora (6 species), Momordica, Sechium (cultivated) and various other Cucurbitaceae, Serjania, Paullinia, various Papilionaceae; Hook-climbers: Galium (Relbunium Endlicher) Buttneria, Rubus; Root-climbers: Vanilla, various Aroids, Piper. I can add the genera Lygodium, Blumenbachia, Solandra, Combretum, Tragia, which I saw earlier in other parts of our province. Since until now I have paid no particular attention to climbing plants, I am not at present able to give you any information on their habits.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4881a.f1
    For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 13, Appendix I. According to Alfred Möller, all Fritz Müller's letters to CD were written in English (see Möller ed. 1915--21, 2: 72 n.); most of them have not been found. Many of the letters were later sent by Francis Darwin to Möller, who translated them into German for his Fritz Müller: Werke, Briefe und Leben (Möller ed. 1915--21). Möller also found final drafts of some Müller letters among the Fritz Müller papers and included these in their original English form (ibid., 2: 72 n). Where the original English versions are missing, the published version, usually appearing in German translation, has been used. See also n. 11, below.
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    f2 4881a.f2
    `Climbing plants'. See letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August [1865], n. 4.
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    f3 4881a.f3
    Bomarea is now considered to be a separate genus of the family Alstroemeriaceae.
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    f4 4881a.f4
    Hebanthe is a synonym of Pfaffia.
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    f5 4881a.f5
    This is probably a misspelling or incorrect transcription of Gomphrena (Amaranthaceae). Although Gomphrena has few climbers, there is one climbing species, G. vaga, which is found in the vicinity of Destêrro (Florianópolis).
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    f6 4881a.f6
    A misspelling of Mikania (see letter from Fritz Müller, [12 and 31 August, and 10 October 1865] and n. 18).
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    f7 4881a.f7
    A misspelling of Brachypterys.
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    f8 4881a.f8
    A misspelling or incorrect transcription of Canavalia.
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    f9 4881a.f9
    Müller refers to Galium, subgenus Relbunium, as described in Endlicher 1836--42, p. 523. Relbunium is now considered to be a distinct genus.
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    f10 4881a.f10
    Müller resided in Destêrro on Santa Catarina Island off the coast of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Destêrro is now Florianópolis.
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    f11 4881a.f11
    Part of the missing portion of this letter was submitted by CD, together with extracts from other letters from Müller to CD on climbing plants, to the Linnean Society. The resulting paper was read on 7 December 1865, and published in the 29 November 1866 issue of the Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) (see letter from Fritz Müller, [12 and 31 August, and 10 October 1865], and Müller 1865b). When CD was preparing the letters for publication, he informed Müller that he had `slightly modified the arrangement of some parts & altered only a few words' (letter to Fritz Müller, 17 October [1865]; see also letter to Fritz Müller, 9 December [1865]; for more on the modifications made to Müller's letters, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 October [1865], and the letter to Daniel Oliver, 20 October [1865]).
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