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From John Scott   3 March 1863



JS criticises natural selection as based on an innate "continuously watchful selective principle".

Seeks seed of wild Rocky Mountain maize.

What is CD’s view on origin of maize?

Seeks information on self-sterility of Passiflora and Lobelia.

Weeping habit of trees.

Intended to say bisexual plants presented more established varieties than unisexual, not that they are more variable.

Explains his opinion that homomorphically fertilised Primula will produce only their own form. Is trying homomorphic crosses with different coloured Primula varieties.

Asks to read Asa Gray’s 2d review of Orchids.

Has finally successfully fertilised Gongora, but it was done by unnatural means.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Mar 1863
Classmark:  DAR 108: 179
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4021

To John Scott   6 March 1863


Answers JS’s criticism of natural selection, which he doubts JS understands. CD does not believe in an "innate selective principle".

To understand "utility" JS should read CD on correlation.

Origin of maize: no longer thinks husked form was wild because of Asa Gray’s evidence on its variability.

Has information from Thomas Rivers on weeping habit in trees.

JS’s experiments on coloured primroses.

Encloses bibliographical note on Passiflora.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  6 Mar 1863
Classmark:  DAR 93: B66–8, B71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4031

From John Scott   21 March [1863]


Thanks for CD’s answers on Passiflora

and Asa Gray review.

Has observed gradation of sterility in Oncidium species.

Has observed rostellar germination and fertilisation in Laelia. The latter was prevented in Bletia by covering the stigma with plaster of Paris.

Gongora atropurpurea capsules are swelling.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Mar [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 85
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4055

To John Scott   24 March [1863]


Enthusiastic about JS’s work on Passiflora self-incompatibility.

CD quotes JS on rostellar pollen germination [in "Fertilisation of orchids", Collected papers 2: 77–8]. H. Crüger attributes it to ants’ carrying stigmatic secretion to pollen.

Homomorphic cowslip seedlings are, sadly, showing variation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  24 Mar [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B72–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4060
Document type
letter (4)
Darwin, C. R. (4)
Scott, John[X]
03 (1)
06 (1)
21 (1)
24 (1)