Asks HCW’s help with his experiments on Lythrum salicaria, for which he needs flowers of the rare Lythrum hyssopifolia.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Mr Watson
You are accustomed to me applying to you when in want. And now I am in great want. I am trying a most laborious series of experiments on Lythrum salicaria, & I think if the result can be proved, which I fully expect to be the case, you will think that your aid will be worth bestowing.f2
what I want intensely is a few fresh flowers of the rare Lythrum hyssopifolia. Vaucher says it presents two forms like Primula,f3 & these would be invaluable to me; why they would be so is too long a story for a note. Can you give me address (& allow me to use your name) to some one or two Botanists, who may live anywhere near this plant, & who would aid me.—f4 If too late for fresh plants, perhaps I could then get seed.— If you can, will you aid me?—
I have had a sick House for last 8 weeks, with one of my poor Boys terribly ill, whom we must take to sea-side next week.f5 All this has cut up my work in a cruel degree.— How is your poor patient, whom you mentioned a year or so ago:f6 you spoke then as if there was little hope. For five years we have never been a whole month without some anxiety. It is a weary world.—
Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin