Seeds: worried they will turn into another barnacle job.
Studies plants colonising abandoned field.
Experiment on plant sleep movements.
CD objects to "Atlantis" because no evidence; does not affect species theory.
Down. Farnborough Kent
My dear Hooker
Very many thanks for your seeds & Saxifrage, & such a splendid lot:
Lawson had not one kind! Thanks, also, for your little note
with all the terrible wishes about the seeds, in which I almost join for I begin to
think they are immortal & that the seed job will be another Barnacle job; for I
thought the first lot were all dead; & now after 56 days,
6 out of the 7 kinds have come up, though only a few of
each.— It was a very good, (though I thought useless at the time) suggestion;
to try cabbage, broccoli & cawlifower, the two latter
having everyone died after 22 days, wheras cabbage itself has
germinated well. Having no one to talk to, I must just tell you, what seems to me
curious, that the young plants of Tussilago farfara came out of their seeds in the
salt-water, & have now kept alive nine days some floating & some at
bottom of sea water, & when planted they grow well.— If I keep them
long enough, they will, shd
What a remarkably nice & kind letter
I thank you much for Hedysarum: I do hope it is not very precious, for as I told you it
is for probably a most foolish purpose: I read somewhere that no plant closes
its leaves so promptly in darkness, & I want to cover it up daily for
How I do wish I cd
Good Bye | C. Darwin
I cannot make exactly out why you wd
Thank you for forwarding A. Gray.— Would his list of Habitats be of
any the least use to you? if so I wd
I have just made out my first Grass, hurrah! hurrah! I must confess that Fortune favours the bold, for as good luck wd have it, it was the easy Anthoxanthum odoratum: nevertheless it is a great discovery; I never expected to make out a grass in all my life. So Hurrah. It has done my stomach surprising good.—
- f1 1693.f1Peter Lawson & Sons, nurserymen (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 April , n. 3).
- f2 1693.f2There is a copy of Lawson's 1851 catalogue of seeds in the Darwin Library–CUL. CD's jocular reference is to a passage in Explanations: a sequel to ‘Vestiges of the natural history of creation’ ([Chambers 1845], p. 115):
Among the questions proposed by the Academy of Sciences at Haarlem, in 1839, was one upon the following subject— “According to some botanists, Algæ of a very simple structure, placed under favourable circumstances, develop and change into different plants, belonging to genera much more elevated in the scale of organic being; …” I would ask if this is a point as yet settled in the negative. The original of our cabbage is well known to be a trailing sea-side plant, entirely different from the cabbage in appearance.Hooker's account of the cabbage in J. D. Hooker 1844–7 had been reprinted in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal in 1846 with similar editorial comments attached (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 February 1846 and n. 8).
- f3 1693.f3See letters to J. D. Hooker, 7 April  and 13 April .
- f4 1693.f4Governess of the Darwin children.
- f5 1693.f5Asa Gray's letter of 22 May had been sent to Kew and forwarded to CD by Hooker (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 June ).
- f6 1693.f6George Snow's carrier service between Down village and London ran only on Thursdays.
- f7 1693.f7CD refers to his project to identify the different species of grass growing in the neighbourhood of Down.