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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Bentham   13 December 1876

25, Wilton Place. | S.W.

Dec 13/76

My dearest Darwin

In reply to your note I believe Ægiphila to be exclusively American Æ laevigata Juss. from India and Æ viburnifolia Juss. from the Philippines are probably both of them Premnas, Æ. diffusa Andr. is entered in Steudel as Ind. or. by mistake for Ind. occ. as Æ laevigata is by mistake entered Ind. occ. for Ind. or1

In speaking of the waste of staminal power in the Australian Acacias I forgot to contrast it with the Brazilian Mimosas which appear to be much more generally fertilised although they have only 6, 8 or 10 or half those numbers of stamens and the style more exposed—whilst Acacias have the style scarcely protruding from 50 to 100 or sometimes many more stamens—2 Are the Mimosas more readily cross-fertilised?

Yours very sincerely | George Bentham


See letter to George Bentham, 12 December 1876 and n. 7. In Steudel 1841, 1: 29, ‘Ind. or.’ (India orientalis) denotes India while ‘Ind. occ.’ (India occidentalis) is the West Indies. Aegiphila laevigata is a synonym of Parameria laevigata, A. virburnifolia is an invalid synonym of Cassine viburnifolia, and A. diffusa is a synonym of A. martinicensis. Premna is a genus in the family Lamiaceae, to which Aegiphila also belongs.
See letter from George Bentham, 10 December 1876 and n. 4. The genera Mimosa and Acacia, formerly in the family Mimosaceae, are now in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae.


Steudel, Ernst Gottlieb. 1841. Nomenclator botanicus: seu: synonymia plantarum universalis, enumerans ordine alphabetico nomina atque synonyma, tum generica tum specifica, et a Linnaeo et a recentioribus de re botanica scriptoribus plantis phanerogamis imposita. 2d edition. 2 parts. Stuttgart and Tübingen: J. G. Cotta.


Believes Aegiphila to be exclusively American.

Contrasts fertilisation of Australian Acacia with Brazilian Mimosa.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Bentham
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Wilton Place, 25
Source of text
DAR 160: 167
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10718,” accessed on 12 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24