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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [9 November 1873]1

2. Bryanston St | Portman Sqr

Sunday | Evening

My dear Hooker

I was awfully tired when I got home, but am now rested, & I so enjoyed my visit & it was so profitable that it was worth any amount of fatigue.2

I have been reflecting much about Eucalyptus & I think several species wd. be worth experimenting on, if you can let me have them, which is not likely. So I send amended list & I have added the other Memoranda.—3

Mimosa albida will be worth its weight in diamonds.4 We go home on Tuesday morning, (18th) quite early in the morning so it must be sent here on Monday evening.5

If you can get me Neptunia it will be worth more than diamonds.6 We shall all be delighted to see you to luncheon on Thursday, or any day7

Yours affect | C. Darwin

(1) E. Goniocalyx

(2) The rather tall plant in small pot with both horizontal & vertical leaves, unnamed.

(3) E. obliqua or E. eudesmioides.

(4) E. Cordata

(5) Any species with vertical leaves whilst young & with no apparent bloom, like that from Mr W Saunders8

(6) Any species with vertical leaves & with good bloom: (perhaps there is not such a one) whilst young.

(7) As I have young plant of E. globulus, will you gather me a twig with vertical leaves from old plant of E. globulus—& stick it in the damp soil of one of pots.9

(8) Any Acacia with vertical false-leaves (such as A. cultriformis) & good bloom.10

Dried leaves of glabrous Littoral British plants

Strike the hardy Desmodium.

Good Heavens how unreasonable I am!! | C. D.


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 November 1873, and by the dates of CD’s stay in London (see n. 5, below).
CD had visited Hooker at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 November 1873).
For the original list of species, see the enclosure to the letter from J. D. Hooker, [1 November 1873].
CD had planned to observe Mimosa albida at Kew (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 November 1873).
CD was staying with his daughter Henrietta Emma Litchfield and her husband, Richard Buckley Litchfield, from 8 to 18 November (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD described Neptunia oleracea (water mimosa) in Movement in plants.
No visit from Hooker is recorded in Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242).
William Wilson Saunders.
Eucalyptus goniocalyx is the long-leaved box; E. obliqua is the Australian oak or messmate stringybark; E. eudesmoides is mallalie; E. cordata is the heart-leaved silver gum; and E. globulus is the Tasmanian blue gum. None of these species is mentioned in Movement in plants.
Acacia cultriformis is the knife-leaf wattle. In some species of Acacia, the leaflets are suppressed and the leaf-stalks are vertically flattened (phyllodes). CD described the movement of young phyllodes in A. retinoides in Movement in plants, p. 236.


Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Returned from visit.

Thinks several species of Eucalyptus would be worth experimenting on. Sends list.Mimosa albida would be worth its weight in diamonds. Neptunia worth more than diamonds.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
London, Bryanston St, 2
Source of text
DAR 95: 304–5
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9146,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21