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Darwin Correspondence Project

From R. T. Clarke   [after 27 November 1862]1

Dear Mr Darwin

With this I send the strawberries. Hybrid wild, (Vesca + Myatt) Hybrid Hautbois, a chance seedling, and the plant which sent up a crown of true hautbois.2 The Six plants dug up with balls of earth were raised from (as I thought) a very female hautbois by pollen of Myatts British Queen. These seedlgs. were not to be distinguished from ordinary Hautbois, save that they are quite hermaphrodite, bearing freely. I think one was inclined to female developement. Hyb Hautbois 2d generation, is the offspring of a nearly barren seedling from Myatt [TIMES] Hautbois. Has not yet flowered.—

At the last moment I am trying to cram in a plant of Fragaria Lucida, a remarkable looking wild sort from, I think, California introduced by Mlle. Vilmorin.3 Enclosed also two or three plants of Cheiranthus, what shall I say the wild yellow Gillyflower of old walls, crossed by Cheiranthus alpinus, forms a very pretty, very fragrant garden flower. The brassicaceous smell of alpinus has imparted a peculiar piquance to the scent of the ordinary wall flower. | R T C

CD annotations

1.2 and the … hautbois 1.3] underl brown crayon; ‘(see [’from‘ del] other note)’4 added ink, square brackets in MS
Top of first page: ‘1.’ brown crayon
Top of verso of first page: ‘(2’ brown crayon


The date is conjectured from the relationship to the letter from R. T. Clarke, [after 25 November 1862] (see n. 2, below).
Clarke had written, in response to CD’s letter to the Journal of Horticulture, [before 25 November 1862], informing CD of various crossing experiments that he had carried out on strawberries, and offering to send him a plant of a hybrid individual that had produced a crown of the Hautbois variety (see letter from R. T. Clarke, [after 25 November 1862]). CD apparently wrote to Clarke accepting his offer, but no such letter has been found. See also letter from R. T. Clarke, [April? 1863] (Correspondence vol. 11).
The reference is to Elisa de Vilmorin, who named the Californian strawberry Fragaria lucida, and who began to cultivate it in 1855 (Gay 1857, p. 201).
See letter from R. T. Clarke, [after 25 November 1862].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Gay, Jacques Etienne. 1857. Recherches sur les caractères de la végétation du fraisier et sur la distribution géographique de ses espèces, avec la description de deux nouvelles. Annales des Sciences Naturelles (Botanique) 4th ser. 8: 185–208.


Sends strawberries.

Letter details

Letter no.
Richard Trevor Clarke
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161.2: 167
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3837,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

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