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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Blyth   [after 3 February 1868]1

P.S. Have you seen an excellent paper by my friend Mr. Scott, of the Calcutta Bot. Garden, on the gradations of fertility in crossed varieties of Verbascum, in the Journ As. Soc. B., No III, pt II, for 1867?2 I have lent my copy just now, but can send it to you if you wish it. The No. contains some other interesting notices of Indian animals, though less in your particular way.—3 Did I mention that I procured a few days ago, three genuine wild canaries all but direct from the ship, & much greyer than any I have seen before?4 I fancy however, they are both hens.

CD annotations

Verso: ‘Scott Verbascum’ pencil


The date is established by the reference to Scott 1867, which was published on 3 February 1868.
Blyth refers to John Scott and Scott 1867, which appeared in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Scott had sent CD a draft of his article on Verbascum in 1864. Scott’s work on the paper had been interrupted when he left his position at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, in order to seek employment in India (see Correspondence vol. 12). CD summarised Scott’s experiments in Variation 2: 106–7.
Blyth refers to Blanford 1867.
In his letter of 4 January 1868, Blyth mentioned having two wild male canaries from Madeira, and also one found in Britain.


Blanford, William T. 1867. Zoological notes. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 36 (pt 2): 189–200.

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

Scott, John. 1867. On the reproductive functional relations of several species and varieties of Verbasca. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 36 (pt 2): 145–74.

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


Recommends J. Scott’s paper on crossing varieties of Verbascum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Blyth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 210
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5750,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16