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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Richard Trevor Clarke   [after 25 November 1862]1

Welton Place | near Daventry

My dear Sir

I have just read your letter of enquiry about Strawberries in the Cottage Gardener.2

I have been at them for years and here follows all I have been able to ascertain. Myatts British Queen with hautbois pollen produces luxuriant robust very florid plants with numerous anthers, apparently fertile   They were however barren though fertized from other strawberries, with one exception in a plant which bears a few dry ill formed fruit   from this I have raised one solitary plant but have not yet fruited it— Alpine and wild crossed with Myatt and Keens Seedling also barren with, also, one exception   The excepted plant can scarcely be called fertile   the fruit swells bearing a few seeds one or two on each fruit protruding in a curious way from the fleshy receptacle. In this case also I have raised one seedling not yet adult. Hautbois xd by Myatt produced seedlings so exactly resembling the mother that I doubt the cross. They are however all but one real hermaphrodites full of anthers and most prolific.—3

Amongst a batch of crossed seedlings between various sorts in which experiment I remember using Hautbois pollen and having HB plants in the vicinity of the parents, I found a very interesting plant   The flavour is strongly musky and the general appearance of the fruit very peculiar. Now this plant in the second year of fruiting that is to say this spring sent up a spike of bloom from a distinct crown (the centre one) nearly, nay almost exactly resembling the hautbois in appearance and flavour.

I must observe this individual closely next season and should be happy to send you a fruiting plant in a pot

In great haste very truly yours | R Trevor Clarke

CD annotations

2.6 Myatt] ‘Pine class’ added ink !alignleft!2.6 Keens] ‘Pine class’ interl ink
3.1 Amongst … fruiting 3.5] ‘1st Letter’4 added pencil
3.1 Amongst … flavour. 3.7] crossed brown crayon; marked with cross, pencil
3.5 that is … Clarke 5.1] ‘First Letter’ added pencil
Top of letter: ‘1st Note’ ink


Dated by the relationship to the letter to the Journal of Horticulture, [before 25 November 1862].
Letter to the Journal of Horticulture, [before 25 November 1862]; the Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener and Country Gentleman had, until 1861, been called The Cottage Gardener, Country Gentleman’s Companion, and Poultry Chronicle.
CD cited Clarke’s observations in Variation 1: 352.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Replies to CD’s inquiry about cross-breeds of strawberries [Collected papers 2: 70]. Has been crossing for years.

Letter details

Letter no.
Richard Trevor Clarke
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161.2: 166
Physical description
6pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3829,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

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