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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   [28 June 1863?]1

1. Carlton Terrace


My Dear Father,

I have looked at Chrysosplene, but cannot tell whether there are glands.2 it has hairs white, transparent, on leaves and stem; those on the stem have a hollow looking cup at the end of a red colour; the remainder of the hairs being silvery white, and transparent.

I send you a sketch by Camera Lucida of end of hair and cup.3

I will send you some if there are glands.

I am your affect son | W E Darwin


The date is conjectured from the address and the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. E. Darwin, 29 [March – June 1863 or 1864?] (Correspondence vol. 11), which should now be dated 29 [June 1863?]. William had moved from Carlton Terrace by 18 June 1864 (see this volume, Supplement, letter from W. E. Darwin, 18 June [1864]). The Sunday before 29 June 1863 was 28 June.
Chrysosplene: Chrysosplenium. Chrysosplenium oppositifolium (golden saxifrage) is a saxifrage native to western Europe; it has glandular hairs and germinates in late spring to early summer (F. M. Muller 1978, p. 131).
The camera lucida attachment on a microscope is an optical device that reflects the microscopic image on to a sheet of paper so that a drawing can be made.


Sends description of Chrysosplene, asks about glands.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
1 Carlton Terrace [Southampton]
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 11)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3894F,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)