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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Bentham   24 November [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 24th

My dear Bentham

I was much interested by your remarks on the Primula case, but I cannot distinctly remember to what plants you referred excepting Oxalis.2 Could you have the kindness to give me a little more precise information so that I might endeavour to get some of the plants for experiments. Thus do you know what species of Oxalis are thus characterised   if I knew the specific names I might perhaps find out whether they exist in nursery gardens; & so with some Labiatæ or any other orders.—3

I have not time for many experiments, but I should like to try a few more.—

As I am writing I will mention another subject: Mr Kippist seemed to think that if my paper was ordered to be printed it might be in the Transactions, which I should be very sorry for & I shd. greatly prefer, on account of quickness, it to be in the Journal.—4

Also he said that the Council would on application perhaps permit me to have 50 copies printed at my own expence, which I wish for to give gardeners & others who have been sending me specimens.—

Pray forgive me troubling you & grant me these favours if you can.—

Your’s very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship to the letter to George Bentham, 26 November 1861.
Bentham, president of the Linnean Society of London, had apparently made some comments following the presentation of CD’s paper on dimorphism in Primula at the society’s meeting on 21 November (see n. 4, below).
CD eventually discussed the trimorphic condition of various species of Oxalis in Forms of flowers.
Richard Kippist was the librarian of the Linnean Society. CD’s paper, ‘On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations’, was published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. See also Collected papers 2: 45–63.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

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


Requests more precise details about Oxalis, to which GB referred in his remarks on Primula.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Bentham
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham Correspondence, Vol. 3, Daintree–Dyer, 1830–1884, GEB/1/3: f. 688
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3328,” accessed on 29 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9