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Darwin Correspondence Project

To R. I. Lynch   23 October [1877]1

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

Oct 23d

Dear Sir

Mr. Dyer suggests that I ought to examine the cotyledons or first leaves of some Coniferous plants.—2 Could you send me a few seeds of any 2 or 3 kinds which germinate pretty soon & easily.

I have been much interested by observing the cotyledons of some of the plants, which you were so kind as to select for me, but the observations are most tedious & for various reasons difficult.3

Dear Sir | yours faithfully | Ch.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [21 October 1877].
CD had requested seeds from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 11 October [1877]). He recorded the movements of the cotyledons by placing a fine glass filament on the end of a leaf or stem that would then trace out the movement against a wet sponge or horizontal or vertical glass (see Movement in plants, pp. 10–66).


Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Asks for some seeds of coniferous plants. Wants to examine their first leaves.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Irwin Lynch
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11199,” accessed on 18 September 2021,