Thanks Balfour for Corydalis seed
and sends a photo of himself.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
It was very kind of you to remember about the seed of Corydalis.— From some wretched seed I did raise one single plant; but I am very glad of what you sent me to raise more, next summer.—
I enclose only Photograph of myself which I have, made of me this summer by my son.—
Very many thanks for yours.—
Yours sincerely. | Ch. Darwin
- f1 5251.f1The date is established by the reference to the recent photograph of CD (see n. 4, below).
- f2 5251.f2CD had written to Balfour asking for seeds of Corydalis claviculata, which he had been unable to obtain elsewhere, on 15 June  (Correspondence vol. 13, Supplement).
- f3 5251.f3In 1862, CD was interested in insect pollination and the fertility of Corydalis species (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 10, letter to Daniel Oliver, 12 [April 1862]; see also `Three forms of Lythrum salicaria', p. 175 (Collected papers 2: 111), letter to Nature, 6 April  (Calendar no. 9393), and Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 358--9). However, he had more recently become interested in C. claviculata for his work on climbing plants (see his notes on the species in DAR 157.2: 26--8; see also `Climbing plants', p. 70), and may have acquired seeds from his son, William Erasmus Darwin (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to W. E. Darwin, [10 May 1863]). For CD's interest in other Corydalis species as climbers, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, [20 February 1864] and nn. 2 and 3.
- f4 5251.f4William had taken a new photograph of his father some time before 19 May 1864 (see letter from W. E. Darwin, [19 May 1864] and n. 8). See also frontispiece to this volume.