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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. S. Wilson   16 March [1878]1


March 16.

My dear Sir

It is extremely kind of you to have sent me the fresh packet of good seeds, some of which I have just put on damp sand to germinate. I tried the former lot on damp sand and damp earth, (and the remainder are now in water!) and all became a sheet of mould, so that I was in despair of even one germinating. Your note shows me that the case is even more curious than I before understood.2 I am, however, at present overwhelmed with the number of experiments in hand. But Ægilops must not be neglected.

Yours much obliged | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. S. Wilson, 14 March 1878.
Wilson had sent a box of seeds of Aegilops ovata (a synonym of A. geniculata, ovate goatgrass) with his letter of 28 February 1878, and more with his letter of 14 March 1878. Wilson had observed that only seeds from the middle floret of a spikelet would germinate (see letter from A. S. Wilson, 14 March 1878).


Thanks for second lot of Aegilops seed.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alexander Stephen Wilson
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 363
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11427,” accessed on 23 September 2021,