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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [23–5 March 1862]1

Dr Darwin

Calanthe Masuca. C. Dominii is said to be a hybrid between C. furcata & C. Masuca, & certainly is quite intermediate—2 see Gard Chron: 1858 p. 4 & Bot. Mag. 5042.3

I have no idea that A Gray would quarrell with either of us, under any provocation, & that a good deal of snubbing from us would have done him more good than our sympathy.4

Which Vaucher do you ask about, the old Vaucher who published in Geneva & Paris5   if so he was considered a very accurate acute & able observer— his first work on Conferva appeared in 1800,6 his later on Devellopment down to 1841.7 I have never seen the latter’s books, & speak from hearsay.

Ever yours affec | J D Hooker.


Dated by the relationship to the letters to J. D. Hooker, 22 [March 1862] and 26 [March 1862].
CD was correcting the proofs of Orchids and had asked Hooker to check the names of two species of Calanthe (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 [March 1862]).
In the Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 2 January 1858, p. 4, John Lindley reported the raising of a hybrid between Calanthe furcata and C. masuca in the Exeter nursery of James Veitch Jr by Veitch’s foreman, John Dominy. Lindley proposed the name C. dominii for the plant. The hybrid was described in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 3d ser. 14 (1858): 5042. C. dominii was the first known man-made orchid hybrid (R. Desmond 1994). CD’s copy of the Gardeners’ Chronicle is at the Cory Library, Cambridge Botanic Garden.
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 [March 1862]. The friendliness of the correspondence between Hooker and Asa Gray had been adversely affected by the Trent affair; Hooker had expressed his disappointment with Gray in the letter from J. D. Hooker, [10 March 1862].
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 [March 1862]. Hooker refers to the Swiss botanist, Jean Pierre Etienne Vaucher.


Desmond, Ray. 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish botanists and horticulturists including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. New edition, revised with the assistance of Christine Ellwood. London: Taylor & Francis and the Natural History Museum. Bristol, Pa.: Taylor & Francis.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Vaucher, Jean Pierre Etienne. 1803. Histoire des conferves d’eau douce, … suivie de l’histoire des trémelles et des ulves d’eau douce. Geneva.

Vaucher, Jean Pierre Etienne. 1841. Histoire physiologique des plantes d’Europe ou exposition des phénomènes qu’elles présentent dans les diverses périodes de leur développement. 4 vols. Paris: Marc Aurel Frères.


Identifies Calanthe masuca.

Asa Gray would not quarrel with them – "snubbing from us may have done him more good than our sympathy".

If CD means the old Vaucher, he was considered a very accurate, acute, able observer.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 30
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3483,” accessed on 2 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10