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To Andrew Murray   28 [April 1860]


In his former note CD omitted to criticise AM’s explanation that the function of hybridisation is to prevent extinction should the males of a rare species die out.

Disputes that "Oken, Lamarck & Co throw some light on Classification, Embryology & Rudimentary organs". In the case of embryology there must be introduced the principle of variations not supervening at a very early age and being inherited at corresponding ages. In classification descent alone will not do; it must be combined with the principle of divergence of character and descent from dominant and increasing forms.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Andrew Dickson (Andrew) Murray
Date:  28 [Apr 1860]
Classmark:  R. D. Pyrah
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2773

From J. D. Hooker   [28 April 1860]



Has examined Leschenaultia and concludes the external viscid surfaces have nothing to do with the stigmatic surface. Agrees with CD’s style and nectary conclusions; accounts for their form and position in irregular flowers by describing floral development.

[Enclosed are some queries by CD with answers by JDH. Gives information on seed setting by Mucuna

and an opinion on the abruptness of N. and S. limits of plant ranges.]

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [28 Apr 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 150–1, DAR 166.2: 262
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2774

To J. D. Hooker   30 April [1860]



JDH has settled the Leschenaultia case, but it remains a difficulty to CD.

Goodenia, like bee orchid, seems a case of a structure with an evident function, which is not carried out. Is curvature of styles an incidental result of growth or a pollination adaptation?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  30 Apr [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 51
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2776

To M. T. Masters   25 April [1860]


Glad to hear of MTM’s papers [? "On a peloria and semidouble flower of Ophrys aranifera, Huds.", J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Bot.) 8 (1865): 207–11 and "Observations on the morphology and anatomy of the genus Restio, Linn.", J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Bot.) 8 (1865): 211–55].

CD doubts the value, for origin of species, of parallels between peloria in "distinct groups".

Gärtner proved the stigma can select its own pollen from a mixture of foreign pollens. But much evidence shows varieties of same species are prepotent over a plant’s own pollen.

MTM’s father [William] believes that variation goes on for a long time once it has commenced.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Maxwell Tylden Masters
Date:  25 Apr [1860]
Classmark:  Shrewsbury School Archives (SR/Darwin box 1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4818
Document type
letter (44)
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