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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Adolph Reuter   24 July [1869]1

Down. Beckenham, Kent.

July 24th.

Dear Sir.

The trouble which you have in so kind a manner taken to communicate information to me is a great compliment to me, & I return you my sincere thanks— Your facts on inheritance are numerous & valuable & much more precise than most of those hitherto published— they would have been of the greatest use when preparing my work on the variation of cultivated plants, & if I have to correct a third edition may still be used by me.2 The case of the Ficus is truly wonderful3   I was lately assured that a flowering branch of the common Hedera could be propagated & would still retain its character, & now you have confirmed this statement, & have shewn that the same law holds good in other cases—4

With my best thanks & respects. | I remain | Dear Sir. | Yours faithfully | Charles Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Adolph Reuter, 18 July 1869 (Correspondence vol. 17).
See Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Adolph Reuter, 18 July 1869. The ‘third edition’ was in fact Variation 2d ed., published in 1875. CD had added new material to the second printing of Variation and often referred to it as the ‘second edition’. Information from Reuter on potato grafting was included in Variation 2d ed. 1: 422.
In his letter of 18 July 1869 (Correspondence vol. 17), Reuter had described a specimen of Ficus stipulata (a synonym of F. pumila, the climbing fig) in which the shape of the leaves changed after the plant fruited.
Reuter had informed CD that a cutting taken from a flowering branch of Hedera helix (common ivy) when propagated produced leaves characteristic of the plant (unlobed cordate) only after flowering, and that the variety was described in nursery catalogues as Hedera helix arbuscula (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter from Adolph Reuter, 18 July 1869).


Thanks for facts on inheritance. May be used if CD corrects 3d ed. [2d ed.] of Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Adolf Reuter
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 147: 297
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13837,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

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