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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. V. Carus   26 March 1877

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

Mar 26. 1877

My dear Sir,

Many thanks for your never-failing kindness. I am always making mistakes. Perhaps I am deceiving myself, but I think I saw the word cleistogene used by some one else & that made me forget the true term. I found out my error some time ago, for I am now writing on cleistogamic flowers.1

These flowers form the subject of a chapter in a small book which I shall send to the printers in about a months time, & which relates chiefly to heterostyled plants. When this book is published I shall have worked up all my old materials on plants, & as far as I can see you will have a long or final rest from the labour of translation.2

Accept my cordial thanks for your kind expressions towards me, & believe me, | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin

P.S. | Give my very kind remembrances to Dr Dohrn; I am very glad to hear that you so much enjoy yr work there3


See letter from J. V. Carus,  22 March 1877 and n. 3. Carus spent three months working at Anton Dohrn’s Zoological Station in Naples from February 1877; see letter from J. V. Carus, 20 January 1877.


‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

‘Illegitimate offspring of dimorphic and trimorphic plants’: On the character and hybrid-like nature of the offspring from the illegitimate unions of dimorphic and trimorphic plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 20 February 1868.] Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) 10 (1869): 393–437.

‘Specific difference in Primula’: On the specific difference between Primula veris, Brit. Fl. (var. officinalis of Linn.), P. vulgaris, Brit. Fl. (var. acaulis, Linn.), and P. elatior, Jacq.; and on the hybrid nature of the common oxlip. With supplementary remarks on naturally produced hybrids in the genus Verbascum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 19 March 1868.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 10 (1869): 437–54.

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]

‘Two forms in species of Linum’: On the existence of two forms, and on their reciprocal sexual relation, in several species of the genus Linum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 5 February 1863.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 7 (1864): 69–83. [Collected papers 2: 93–105.]


Had found out his error [use of "cleistogenous" for "cleistogamous" in Cross and self-fertilisation] some timeago.

Is now writing on cleistogamic flowers [for Forms of flowers (1877)], and, with it, will have worked up all his old materials on plants. JVC will then have a rest from his labours of translation.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10914,” accessed on 20 September 2021,