Rarity of intermediate varieties.
Variability of introduced plants.
Ranges of plants common to Europe and U. S.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear D
I am much obliged for your letter, which has been
very interesting to me.— Your “indefinite”
answers are perhaps not the least valuable part; for Botany has been followed in so much
more a philosophical spirit than Zoology, that I scarcely ever like to trust any general
remark in Zoology, without I find that Botanists concur. Thus with respect to
intermediate varieties being rare, I found it put, as I suspected, much too strongly
(without the limitations & doubts which you point out) by a very good
Very sincere thanks for your kind invitation to the U. States: in truth there is nothing which I should enjoy more; but my health is not, & will, I suppose, never be strong enough, except for the quietest routine life in the country. I shall be particularly glad of the sheets of your paper on Geograph. Distrib; but it really is unlikely in the highest degree that I could make any suggestions.—
With respect to my remark that I supposed that there were but few plants common to
Europe & U. States, not ranging to the Arctic Regions; it was
founded on vague grounds, & partly on range of animals. But I took
H. C. Watsons Remarks (1835) & in the table at the end I found that out
of 499 plants believed to be common to the Old & new worlds, only 110,
did not range on neither side of the Atlantic up to Arctic region. And on writing to M
I hope that you will be inclined to work out for your next Paper, what number of your 321 in common, do not range to Arctic Regions. Such plants seem exposed to such much greater difficul< > in diffusion.—
Very many thanks for all your kindness & answers to my questions, & believe me. Yours very sincerely & obliged | Ch. Darwin
If anything sh
- f1 1944.f1Letter from Asa Gray, [early August 1856], which CD had marked ‘Received Aug 20
- f2 1944.f2Thomas Vernon Wollaston. See letter to Asa Gray, 14 July .
- f3 1944.f3CD discussed the point in Natural selection, p. 268, giving Hewett Cottrell Watson, Gray, and Wollaston as his sources.
- f4 1944.f4Letter from H. C. Watson, 5 June 1856.
- f5 1944.f5Watson 1835.
- f6 1944.f6Letter to H. C. Watson, [after 10 June 1856].
- f7 1944.f7Letter from H. C. Watson, 20 June 1856. Watson's information was used in Natural selection, p. 539, although CD later replaced the figures with information supplied by Gray (see letter from Asa Gray, 4 November ).
- f8 1944.f8The number 321 refers to the number of species found in both North America and Europe, as given in a list in A. Gray 1856a, p. xxviii. This page had been forwarded to CD enclosed in the letter from Asa Gray, [early August 1856]. Gray addressed CD's question in the second part of his paper on the statistics of the flora of the United States (A. Gray 1856–7).