CD would like to see Rhamnus, as an American species is dimorphic.
Sends red cowslip pollen to be measured.
Papa cares very much more about seeing the Rhanmus than the Menyanthes— it flowers in May & Papa must see a male & female flower off a different bush. It is because there is an American one which is Dimorphic. He hopes you wont hate him.
He sends these two more packets of red cowslip as he believes they are the
last they have not much pollen— as they are to be measured
dry you can do them when you like.
Perhaps the boys come on Sat. but it is not known for certain— I dont think we shall let you have the horse— Papa was very well yesterday today he looks baddish & pale but has been working.
No more today as I am very busy
Yours ever | H. E. D.
Mack a little worse.
- f1 4442.f1The date is established by the references to Menyanthes and the red cowslip in this letter, the letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [17 May 1864], and the letters from W. E. Darwin, 18 May  and [19 May 1864].
- f2 4442.f2For CD's query regarding Menyanthes, see the letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [17 May 1864]. No recent reference to Rhamnus, the buckthorn, has been found in CD's correspondence. In 1861, CD asked Joseph Dalton Hooker where he could purchase a specimen after Asa Gray wrote that a North American species (Rhamnus lanceolatus) was dimorphic (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter from Asa Gray, 11 October 1861, and second letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 November ; experimental note in DAR 111: A19; and Forms of flowers, pp. 295--6). The only correspondence and notes mentioning William's collection of the genus are from 1866 (see, for example, letter to W. E. Darwin, 20 June  (Calendar no. 5128), and notes in DAR 109: A41--2). CD discussed several Rhamnus species in Forms of flowers, pp. 293--7, 307, and 308. His notes on the genus are in DAR 109: A41--3, 50, and DAR 111.
- f3 4442.f3See letter to W. E. Darwin, [14--17 May 1864] and n. 2.
- f4 4442.f4George Howard, Francis, and Leonard Darwin were pupils at Clapham Grammar School in South London in May 1864 (see letter from H. E. Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [16 March 1864], n. 3). Emma Darwin recorded in her diary (DAR 242) for Saturday 21 May 1864: `Boys from school'.
- f5 4442.f5James Mackintosh Wedgwood. See letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [17 May 1864] and n. 6.