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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Searles Valentine Wood   16 July 1866

Brentwood, Essex,

July 16. 1866

My dear Sir

Most probably you are aware of what I am going to tell you but if not it may be interesting. A friend of mine has a relation a farmer in Cambridgeshire who I am informed regularly sows Oats which are fed off the first year & the stalks are permitted to remain in the ground during the Winter. these come up Barley in the following Summer & this mode of husbandry is commonly adopted on that farm.1 If you shod be unacquainted with this method of raising a crop of Barley & wod like me to obtain for you further particulars I shall have great pleasure in doing so so that you might yourself verify the fact

I will also mention another circumstance (curious to me) of which I have been informed by an old resident in New Zealand viz that they get the finest Peaches out of the Bush Country grown there on Trees which have sprung from Peach stones thrown away by the Natives without any culture2

Yours very truly | Searles Wood

Chas. Darwin Esq.


See letter from G. S. Gibson, 7 July 1866 and n. 1.
For CD’s interest in the characteristics of seedling fruit trees, see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 29 December 1855] (Collected papers 1: 263–4), and Correspondence vol. 10, letter to Thomas Rivers, 23 December [1862]) and n. 5. CD discussed the peach in Variation 1: 337–45.


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

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

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


Barley growing from old oat stalks.

Letter details

Letter no.
Searles Valentine Wood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 145
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5156,” accessed on 28 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14