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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edouard Bornet   20 August [1867]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Aug 20

Dear Sir

I thank you sincerely for your great & renewed kindness in sending me the seeds of the Draba.2 I am so much engaged this autumn that I do not think I shall sow them & no doubt they will keep alive until next year, when they will be of great interest to me.3

Owing to the same cause I sowed only four lots of the seeds of the Papaver this spring & have made only a few experiments. Papaver vagum, depressum, Lecoqii came up quite true, but the seedlings of P. pinnatifidum varied a good deal.4

With sincere thank & my best respect I remain dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Edouard Bornet, [before 20 August 1867].
Bornet sent CD seeds of ten varieties of Draba verna (see letter from Edouard Bornet, [before 20 August 1867] and n. 3).
No record of CD’s performing experiments with Draba verna has been found.
Papaver vagum was described in Jordan 1860, pp. 458–9; it is now generally subsumed within P. dubium, as are P. depressum and P. lecoqii. CD recorded the results of his experiments with P. vagum seeds sent by Bornet in Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 108–9. In 1876, CD suggested experiments for John Scott to perform with varieties of P. somniferum (letter to John Scott, 1 July 1876, Calendar no. 10555).


Calendar: A calendar of the correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821–1882. With supplement. 2d edition. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1994.

Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Jordan, Alexis. 1860. Diagnoses d’espèces nouvelles ou méconnues pour servir de matériaux à une flore de France réformée. Annales de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon 7: 373–518.


Thanks JBEB for seeds of Draba which he will sow next year.

Describes the results of some crossing experiments with Papaver.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5611,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15