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From Asa Gray   16 February 1857


Discusses the ranges of alpine species in U. S. and considers the possible migration routes of such species from Europe.

Lists those U. S. genera which he considers protean and describes the U. S. character of some genera which are protean in Europe.

Describes how he distinguishes introduced and aboriginal stocks of the same species.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 Feb 1857
Classmark:  DAR 165: 96
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2053

From Asa Gray   1 June 1857



Comments on species with disjoined ranges; does not feel, despite CD’s expectations, that they tend to belong to small families.

Gives the proportion of U. S. trees in which the sexes are separate [see Natural selection, p. 62].

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 June 1857
Classmark:  DAR 8: 47bA
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2098

From Asa Gray   [c. 24 May 1857]


Discusses difficulties involved in deciding which genera are protean in the light of some comments by H. C. Watson.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 24 May 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 97
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2104

From Asa Gray   7 July 1857


Believes, with CD, that extinction may be an important factor in explaining plant distributions, but sees no reason why the several species of a genus must ever have had a common or continuous area. "Convince me of that, or show me any good grounds for it … and I think you would carry me a good way with you". It is just such people as AG that CD has to satisfy and convince.

Feels that the crossing of individuals is important in repressing variation and perhaps in perpetuating the species, but instances some plants in which it cannot, apparently, take place.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 July 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.9: 381; DAR 165: 98
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2120

From Asa Gray   [August 1857]


States he has "misgivings about the definiteness of species". Believes there is some inherent tendency for plants to originate varieties. Cross-fertilisation is likely in most cases but sees difficulties with plants like Adlumia.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Aug 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 100, 101
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2129
Document type
letter (5)
Gray, Asa[X]
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Gray, Asa (5)
02 (1)
05 (1)
06 (1)
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