CD will publish on Primula [Collected papers 2: 45–63]. Will DO ask W. H. Fitch to make woodcuts of "pin" and "non-pin" primroses [i.e., long-styled and short-styled forms]? Encloses a sketch.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
You told me formerly that you did not much care about my troubling you: I hope to
Heaven you keep of same mind.— Will you ask M
I am now crossing largely Cowslips & polyanthuses. And this leads me to beg a second favour, viz to send me 2 or 3 flowers (not whole trusses) of pin-headed & non-pin headed, of any species of Primula, except P. vulgaris, Sinensis & Auricula.— If you have any other species pray fold me a few flowers in double green leaf, & pollen would come neither too dry or too wet for measurement.— If you can send please send names of species.—
Yours very truly | Ch. Darwin
- f1 3097.f1The year is provided by the reference to CD's paper on Primula (see n. 3, below).
- f2 3097.f2Walter Hood Fitch was the botanical artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The woodcuts he prepared were published in CD's paper on dimorphism in Primula (see n. 3, below).
- f3 3097.f3CD presented his paper on the dimorphic condition of Primula to the Linnean Society on 21 November 1861. It was published in the Journal of the Procedeeings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77--96 (see also Collected papers 2: 45--63). This paper was CD's first published study of dimorphism. CD stated that, although botanists recognised the existence of the long- and short-styled forms of Primula, they regarded the phenomenon as `mere variability' (ibid., 2: 45). He illustrated that this recognition was not specific to the botanical community by referring to florists' use of the terms `pin-eyed' and `thumb-eyed' to describe what CD believed to be two distinct forms of Primula (ibid., 2: 45).
- f4 3097.f4Oliver sent CD the flowers of a number of different Primula species (Collected papers 2: 48).