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The journal of the Western Australian Herbarium

Ferdinand Mueller in Western Australia in 1877, with notes on his later contributions to the Western Australian flora

Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Australia’s most productive botanist of the mid–late nineteenth century, was especially enamoured with the flora of Western Australia, and wrote about its ‘marvellous exuberance’, ‘typic singularity’ and ‘endemism’. He botanised in Western Australia on three occasions: in 1856 in the Sturt Creek area during Augustus Gregory’s North Australian Exploring Expedition; in 1867 in the Porongurup Range and Stirling Range and around Albany; and in 1877 with excursions from Champion Bay to Shark Bay and from Perth to Albany. Although he considered that most of Australia’s plant taxa had been described by the late 1870s, he remained attentive for novelties, especially those that were rare or from remote, under-botanised areas, especially in Western Australia. Many of Mueller’s later publications consolidated aspects of nomenclature, systematics, biogeography, economics, horticulture and utilisation of the flora of Western Australia.

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