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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Margaret Susan Wedgwood   [before 4 August 1862]1

The Manor | Llandudno

Dear Uncle Charles

Of 256 specimens of Lythrum gathered this morning from different plants, we find

94 with long pistil

95 — middle length pistil

69 — shortest pistil.

These plants were all in one large field or near it but tomorrow we will go if we can manage it in a different direction for more—2 We find it rather difficult in gathering to know what are distinct plants and what only offsets. At Criccieth & Aber we thought the different sorts usually grew in plots together mixed with a few of the others but here they are all together. We have found the Hottonia, and find the pistils of different lengths as I think you told us.3

Your affec niece | M. S. Wedgwood

CD annotations

2.2 We find … niece 3.1] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘Aug 4th 1862’


Dated by CD’s annotation, and by reference to CD’s reply to this letter (letter to K. E. S., L. C., and M. S. Wedgwood, 4 [August 1862]).
CD wanted to know the proportions of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria in different localities (see, for example, the letter to W. E. Darwin, [2–3 August 1862]), and had evidently asked his nieces, Katherine Elizabeth Sophy, Margaret Susan, and Lucy Caroline Wedgwood, to examine specimens during their visit to North Wales. Margaret provided a further tally of the three forms in the letter from M. S. Wedgwood, [6 August 1862]; CD quoted the totals in ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria, p. 174 (Collected papers 2: 110).


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

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]


Proportions of different forms of Lythrum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Margaret Susan Wedgwood/Margaret Susan Vaughan Williams
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 64
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3681,” accessed on 26 June 2022,

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