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Letter 11364

Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa

17 Feb [1878]

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    Heterostyly in Linum perenne. Believes the American form may be a distinct species.

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Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Feb. 17th

My dear Gray

I thank you much for your pleasant letter of Feb. 3d. Hooker has been here 2 or 3 times (as Lady H. has been here for a fortnight as a sanatarium) & I told him about Linum perenne & he was interested & looked to his Colorado specimens. He finds ``the American form is less strongly heterostyled than the European, & that the stamens & styles are even equal in some specimens''; but he also finds variability in length in the European specimens.—

If I was forced to wager I wd. bet that the American form would prove at least functionally a distinct species.— If you could get & send me seed of the Colorado form, I wd grow both forms & see if they could be intercrossed artificially, & I would try whether the homostyled individuals were self-fertile.—

Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin

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