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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 December 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Dec 11. 1876

My dear Hooker,

I thank you very much for all the many things which you have done for me.1 The Cinchona is finely dimorphic. The two flowers Asperula scoparia which were sent are not dimorphic, one is female with rudimentary anthers, the other male with quite a small ovary & mere vestiges of stigmas. Nor is the Arnebia dimorphic.2

And now I want to ask two additional favours, and I will choke myself sooner than give any more trouble for some time, though I do not promise for hereafter. If possible I want to know whether the enclosed flowers, sent to me by Fritz Müller under the name Suteria(?) are correctly so named, perhaps it may not be possible to decide without fruit.3

Secondly you will see by the enclosed that I much want flowers of Forsythia.4

Many thanks for the Minutes, which I have been glad to see. I do not think that Günther has behaved quite so badly as you think, as he gives his authority; but undoubtedly he could have reminded government of the claims of the Brit Mus without hinting that Thompson wished to keep the specimens for Edinburgh.5

Again with very many thanks | ever yrs sincerely | Charles Darwin


Hooker was assisting CD in his research for Forms of flowers; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 December 1876.
Hooker had sent flowers of Cinchona micrantha, Asperula scoparia (prickly woodruff), and Arnebia hispidissima; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 December 1876 and n. 2.
Fritz Müller had mentioned a heterostyled species of Suteria (now subsumed within Psychotria) in his letter of 17 July 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15). In Forms of flowers, pp. 131–2, CD described dried flowers of Suteria sent to him by Müller from Santa Catharina, Brazil.
The enclosure has not been found but CD probably sent Asa Gray’s article in American Naturalist 7 (1873): 422–3; see letter to Asa Gray, 20 December 1876 and n. 2.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 December 1876 and n. 4. Hooker had sent CD the Royal Society Council minutes for 26 October 1876; they contained a letter from Albert Günther to the trustees of the British Museum, arguing that the HMS Challenger specimens should be deposited at the British Museum. Hooker felt Günther had accused Charles Wyville Thomson of wanting to keep the specimens in Edinburgh (see Appendix QQQQ).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.


Plants received from JDH.

Requests he verify an identification by Fritz Müller.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 427–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10710,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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