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Darwin Correspondence Project
"Darwin C R" in search-correspondent [X]
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To John Scott   1 and 3 August [1863]


Thanks JS for orchid paper [Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh 7 (1863): 543–50]. JS presents excellent new facts on sterility of orchids.

His argument that coloured primroses are not hybrids is good, as is idea of discovering primrose parentage by breeding for colours.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  1 and 3 Aug 1863
Classmark:  DAR 93: B24, B27–8, B70; DAR 147: 455
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4260

To L. E. Becker   2 August [1863]


Thanks LEB for the Lychnis seed [see 4258], which he will plant in the hope of fertilising the little ovaria.

Comments on the two forms of Linum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Lydia Ernestine Becker
Date:  2 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Charterhouse Archives (ACC 013)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4260A

To J. D. Hooker   3 August [1863]



Tendril plants received.

Has just completed large crossing experiment with Lythrum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  3 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 201
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4261

To Asa Gray   4 August [1863]


Anticipated AG’s attitude on design in orchids. Does he not think that the variations that gave rise to fancy pigeon varieties were accidental?

Has been working hard at Lythrum

and spontaneous movements of tendrils.

Defends Drosera as a "sagacious animal" but does not know whether he will ever publish on it.

Comments on political situation in U. S.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  4 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (83)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4262

To Alphonse de Candolle   4 August [1863]


Asks AdeC to observe two species of Lythrum to see whether they are dimorphic as stated by Vaucher. CD can find no trace of this in dried specimens he has examined; "if either species present any difference in length of pistil and stamens, it is most likely that three forms should be presented".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alphonse de Candolle
Date:  4 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Archives de la famille de Candolle (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4263

To J. D. Hooker   12–13 August [1863]



Doubts Decaisne’s report of larkspur self-fertilisation.

Enthusiastically observes climbing plants. Needs to know how novel his observations are. Finds R. J. H. Dutrochet has made similar observations, so he has wasted some time. [See Climbing plants, p. 1 n.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  12–13 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 202
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4266

To Charles Lyell   14 August [1863]


Congratulates CL on finding Arctic shells.

Comments on paper by E. B. Hunt ["On the origin, growth, substructure and chronology of the Florida reef", Am. J. Sci. 2d ser. 35 (1863): 197–210].

Mentions J. D. Dana’s health.

George Bentham’s statement on species [Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (1863): xi–xxix].

Praises Bates’s book [Naturalist on the river Amazons (1863)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  14 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.296)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4267

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 15 August 1863]


Reports on the appearance, in a gravel walk near his house, of an orchid, Epipactis latifolia, never seen in his neighbourhood before. Asks whether a seed could have been blown from a distance and germinated during a season when the walk was neglected.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 15 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 15 August 1863, p. 773
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4269

To Thomas Rivers   17 August [1863]



The almond-tree TR gave him produced no fruit, but the Chinese double peach has three. Asks for ripe almond fruits and any odd peaches, to compare the stones.

Asks about modification in fruit or foliage in any fruit-trees from being grafted,

and about seedlings of pears and wheat said to have been found in hedges and woods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Rivers
Date:  17 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 185: 85
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4270

To J. D. Hooker   25 [August 1863]



CD’s illness: he is vomiting "vegetable" cells.

Dutrochet has published the best of CD’s observations on tendrils [see Climbing plants, p. 1 n.].

Lyell has found Joshua Trimmer’s Arctic shells on Moel Tryfan.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  25 [Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 204
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4274

To Hugh Falconer   [25–6 August 1863]


Thanks for information about Pliocene mammal. Interested in relating process of formation to duration of the species. Oswald Heer’s view that species suddenly formed surely false.

Bad summer with much sickness. Going to Malvern [for water-cure] for a month.

Muddled over phyllotaxy and made out nothing.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hugh Falconer
Date:  [25–6 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 32
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4277

To Roland Trimen   27 August [1863]


Discusses methods of pollination in orchids.

Thinks RT should investigate Physianthus to see if it requires insect aid for fertilisation as the Asclepiadaceae do.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Roland Trimen
Date:  27 Aug [1863]
Classmark:  Royal Entomological Society (Trimen papers, box 21: 57)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4279

To [Gardeners’ Chronicle]   [after 27 August 1863]



[Roland] Trimen of the Cape of Good Hope sends evidence that a moth [Achaea chamaeleon] is capable of perforating the skin of a peach with its delicate proboscis. Have any readers observed moths or butterflies sucking any fruit of which the skin was not previously broken?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [after 27 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 70: 172
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4279F

To J. D. Hooker   [28 August 1863]



Admits, at last, that New Zealand must have been connected to some continent, but not Australia.

Climbing plants: asks for more plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [28 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 205
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4280

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 29 Aug 1863]


On the cruelty of setting steel traps to catch vermin. Requests suggestions for putting an end to the practice. [This item is mentioned in Correspondence 11: 781 n.6. (Appendix IX)]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 29 Aug 1863]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle, 29 August 1863, pp. 821–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4282
Document type
letter (15)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
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