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Letter 591

Darwin, C. R. to Berkeley, M. J.

[Mar 1841]


Looks forward to the paper on CD’s edible fungus specimen from Tierra del Fuego [read 16 Mar 1841; Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 19 (1845): 37–43].

Sends a correction: Fagus betuloides, not F. antarctica, is the common tree of Tierra del Fuego.


12 Upper Gower St


My dear Sir

I have received your very obliging note & likewise your enclosure of to day—

I am delighted that you have found the edible fungus botanically curious— I shall be much interested in reading your paper—f1 I trust you corrected the language of such extracts, as you thought worth taking— I did not think any were so—

I write now to inform you that I have probably led you into one small error— I stated that the Fungus grows on the Fagus antarctica,f2 but I am almost certain that the F. betuloides is the common tree of Tierra del Fuego, & as this Fungus abounds every where it must grow on this latter species— it may (& I believe does) grow on the F. antarctica. You can correct this in proof, if you think it desirable—f3

I saw my brother-in law—Hensleigh Wedgwood, your former schoolfellow & collegian,f4 to day & he begged to be very kindly remembered to you.—

Believe me dear Sir | Your’s truly obliged | C. Darwin

Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/47)



Berkeley had undertaken to describe CD’s Beagle fungus specimens and had already published one article (Berkeley 1840). The paper referred to, ‘On an edible fungus from Tierra del Fuego … ’ (Berkeley 1845), was read at the Linnean Society on 16 March 1841. For CD’s description, see Journal of researches, pp. 298–9.
See letter to M. J. Berkeley, [26 November 1840].
The correction was made in time.
Both attended Rugby and Christ’s College, Cambridge.
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