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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. R. Crowe   9 November 1855

Down Bromley Kent

Nov. 9th. 1855

Dear Sir

The seeds came safe to hand & I thank you most sincerely for having taken so much trouble to procure them.1 I received them some time since, & had them planted in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, but have not heard whether they have germinated.

I found that they floated during the ten days, which I tried them, as was indeed probable, though so opposed to what ordinarily happens with seeds.—2 Owing to Dr. Hookers absence there has been a delay in getting them correctly named. Will you be so kind as to give my very sincere thanks to Professor Blytt & tell him that the large seed is the Entada scandens, (or Acacia scandens as so called by Linnæus who specifies that this seed is cast up); it is a common West & East India seed.—3

The smaller seed in the Mucuna urens, (also a Leguminous plant) common in the West Indies, & called there very appropriately “Asses or Bullocks eyes”.—

I saw Colonel Sabine4 lately & gave him your message, & begged to be kindly remembered to you: he is actively engaged in scientific researches.

Should you obtain any other kind of seed, I shd. be grateful for it, but will not trouble you to send anymore of those already received.

Pray accept my very sincere & cordial thanks & believe me dear Sir | With much respect | Yours truly obliged | Charles Darwin


See letter from J. R. Crowe, 27 September 1855.
Edward Sabine, treasurer of the Royal Society and general secretary of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, was carrying out research on terrestrial magnetism (DNB).


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.


Thanks him for seeds used in immersion experiment.

Sends thanks to M. N. Blytt and says to tell him species names.

Mentions meeting Edward Sabine.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Rice Crowe
Sent from
Source of text
Nasjonalbiblioteket (National Library of Norway), Oslo (Brevs. 66)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1777,” accessed on 27 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5