Discusses heterostyly in Hottonia.
Criticises L. C. Treviranus' statements on Primula longiflora's having short-styled form.
Describes his results with crossing different coloured primroses. Will let CD, when he reads his paper, decide whether his finding white and red varieties perfectly sterile when crossed, yet fertile inter se, ought to be published.
Difficulty in getting his orchid paper published in Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal.
Botanic Gardens Edinburgh
I duly received yours of the 2
I am much astonished with your extracts from Bot. Zeit. respecting the P.
longiflora I have had numerous
specimens and never found an approach to the short-styled state: in
those cases where styles & stamens differed in length I invariably
found the former
projecting beyond the stamens: anthers always surrounding the
mouth of tubes. It is also quite a mistake of Prof. Treviranus to suppose that
long-styled P. Auricula is sterile. As bearing on
this point however I mention in my paper the long-styled form of P.
denticulata, from which I have never been able to get a single
seed neither with own-pollen nor that of closely allied species. I had no short-styled form of the species to try it with.
—It is singular how Koch & Tausch could have hazarded such a statement respecting universal dimorphism in the species of Primula: for I cannot think if they had carefully examined the other forms could have escaped them. Singularly enough we have also made directly opposite observations on P. longiflora! I am glad you gave me an authority to support me as to its being a non-dimorphic species. Though I of course have the fine suite of specimens of this species in the Edinburgh University Herbarium to refer to in support of my statement.
I am gradually getting results of my Primula work. Those from my crosses with
differently coloured Primroses are most remarkable.
Thus from homomorphic crosses of P. vulgaris & var. alba I got
an average of about five
seeds per capsule: from the latter fertilised with own-pollen I had an
average of eleven. But the most astonishing results were those from a Red
Primrose & the common yellow, & white.
Reciprocal unions between the former & the two latter have not
yielded me a single seed. I also took the precaution to prove that that the plants of
the Red & White varieties experimented upon were productive with
own-pollen; as I find that many individuals of both varieties will not produce a single
seed even after careful fertilisation. The less robust growing plants have alone proved
productive with me; more especially in the case of the Red, with the
white it is somewhat different. Both varieties have been cultivated in the
Gardens here for many years yet M
I have been most unfortunate with my unions of Cowslips & Primroses: my experimental plants were accidentally sent down to our Class-room in illustration of the Order; and best of the capsules were taken off. I am very sorry for this as I fear I will be quite unable to give anything like a table of these unions.
My Orchid paper is not published yet: they promised to bring out in the late no. of the Edin. New Phil. Jour. but it was pushed aside for others which they thought were more interesting. It has certainly disappointed me very much. I have spoken to the publisher, however, and he has promised to throw off a few copies of it in a short time; so I hope to be able to send you them sometime previous to the publication of the next Journal. By the way I have made out a few more cases of Individual Sterility in Orchids: I will state them in my next, in case you may need further illustrations.
I know I was wrong in suggesting the slightest modification of results in my last. Pray excuse me. I merely did it under the impression that otherwise, it might afford an argument for some of your numerous carping critics against the view you take, that for example the differentiation the male & female sexual e<le>ments of either form of Primulas have undergone with respect to their homomorphic action was a slowly acquired quality. This I thought was opposed by the non-dimorphic cowslip. At least it appeared to me that any inclined to dispute your views might have instanced it as probably illustrative of the other forms having thus likewise suddenly attained their structural & functional peculiarities. I however, may be quite wrong: anyhow, I will ever remember, & act in accordance with the judicious counsel you have given me.
I regret to find by your last that you was afraid for an attack of scarlet-fever in your family. I sincerely trust this has been awarded, and that all ere this are again enjoying that most invaluable of gifts.
Excuse my hurried scribble. | Very respectfully yours. | J. Scott
- f1 4252.f1The year is established by the reference to the letter to John Scott, 2 July .
- f2 4252.f2Letter to John Scott, 2 July .
- f3 4252.f3See the second enclosure to the letter to John Scott, 2 July  and n. 9.
- f4 4252.f4This individual has not been identified.
- f5 4252.f5Scott reported the results of his experiments on Hottonia, including his own and CD's observations, in Scott 1864a, pp. 78--9. CD referred to Scott's experimental results in Forms of flowers, p. 51.
- f6 4252.f6CD had told Scott of Ludolph Christian Treviranus's report that, according to Wilhelm Daniel Joseph Koch and Ignaz Friedrich Tausch, Primula longiflora was invariably short-styled (see the first enclosure to the letter to John Scott, 2 July  and n. 8.). The reference is to Treviranus 1863a, which was published in the Botanische Zeitung. Scott's own observation was that the styles of this species were either slightly longer than the stamens, or of an equal length (Scott 1864a, p. 81).
- f7 4252.f7See the first enclosure to the letter to John Scott, 2 July  and n. 3. The reference is to Treviranus 1863a, p. 6.
- f8 4252.f8Scott 1864a, pp. 90--1.
- f9 4252.f9James McNab was curator of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
- f10 4252.f10See the first enclosure to the letter to John Scott, 2 July  and n. 8. Scott refers to Koch 1843--4, 2: 673, and Tausch 1821, p. 355. Scott disputed their claim in Scott 1864a, p. 81.
- f11 4252.f11See n. 6, above.
- f12 4252.f12CD had previously told Scott that Treviranus claimed Primula longiflora was a non-dimorphic species (see letter to John Scott, 25 and 28 May  and n. 9). The reference is to Treviranus 1863a, p. 5. See also letter to John Scott, 25 [July 1863] and n. 2.
- f13 4252.f13Scott was foreman of the propagating department at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
- f14 4252.f14See letter from John Scott, 3 March 1863. Scott reported on these crosses in Scott 1864a, pp. 97--103.
- f15 4252.f15See letter to John Scott, 6 June .
- f16 4252.f16See letter to John Scott, 25 [July 1863] and n. 3.
- f17 4252.f17There was a purpose-built classroom at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for the use of the keeper, John Hutton Balfour. Balfour gave classes in botany, apparently both for students of the University of Edinburgh, and for the staff of the botanic garden (see Fletcher and Brown 1970, pp. 141--3, 146; Transactions and proceedings of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] 14 (1863): 160).
- f18 4252.f18In his paper (Scott 1864a, pp. 103--4), Scott presented results from crossing experiments carried out by CD with the common primrose (Primula vulgaris) and the cowslip (P. veris). See also letter to John Scott, 25 [July 1863].
- f19 4252.f19In his letter to CD of 16 June , Scott had reported that his paper on the pollination of orchids, read before the Botanical Society of Edinburgh on 14 May 1863, was in press. The quarterly Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal regularly published the proceedings of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, including abstracts of some papers. An abstract of Scott's paper appeared in the October 1863 issue of the journal. However, the publication of the full version of the paper in the Transactions of the Botanical Society [of Edinburgh] apparently pre-dated the abstract (Scott 1863a; see letter to John Scott, 1 and 3 August ).
- f20 4252.f20The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal was published in Edinburgh by Adam and Charles Black.
- f21 4252.f21See letter from John Scott, [26 July -- 2 August 1863].
- f22 4252.f22Scott's letter has not been found, but see the letter to John Scott, 2 July .
- f23 4252.f23See `Dimorphic condition in Primula'.
- f24 4252.f24Scott refers to a non-dimorphic cowslip (Primula veris), which he had discovered among a number of seedling cowslips. He had been surprised to discover that it was remarkably sterile with both dimorphic forms, while being extremely self-fertile (see letters from John Scott, 21 May  and [3 June 1863], and Scott 1864a, pp. 105--10).
- f25 4252.f25See letter to John Scott, 2 July .
- f26 4252.f26See letter to John Scott, 2 July  and n. 6.