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Letter 10728

Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa

20 Dec 1876

    Summary Add

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    Thanks for information about Hottonia.

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    Has found dimorphism in Forsythia.

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    Considers AG's arguments on different terms for dimorphism, but cannot change to using the proposed new term [see 10699].


Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R. Dec 20. 1876 My dear Gray.

Very many thanks about Hottonia. You mention Forsythia in the American Naturalist, and I have just examined dried flowers from Kew, & find that F. suspensa is beautifully dimorphic; so I have got a new family. I have been thinking about your proposed new terms, and I cannot for very shame change again   I have used this term in two or three printed articles, and it is used by several German & Italian writers. Kuhn objected to the term on the same ground as you do; but no one objects to Vertebrata, because it includes an animal without vertebræ. Moreover heterostyled seems to me more definite than heterogone, as the latter would apply to di & monœcious & to polygamous plants. I am of course not able to appreciate the difficulty of working in the term in systematic works; but Thwaites speaks of forma stylosa, & why may not a species be called hetero stylosa? However this may be it really would be too ridiculous for me to change again, so I remain Your affectionate & obstinate friend

Charles Darwin

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