Thanks for use of CD's collection.
Comments and queries on the botany of the Southern Hemisphere.
Looks forward to seeing CD's Galapagos plants.
West Park Kew
My dear Sir
Many thanks for your kind letter of congratulations & also for your offer of assistance in examining the plants you collected, of which I shall most thankfully avail myself. It is very liberal of you to place them so at my disposal & I do hope that I shall shew myself not to be altogether unworthy of the trust..
The Cryptogamic plants being much more widely distributed & being in a tolerable state in all seasons, I was enabled to form a pretty good collection of them, including 60 species of Mosses alone from that little Isld.: as also a new species of your and Mr Berkeleys genus Cyttaria from the deciduous leaved Beech, (a much smaller plant with only 4 cells.—), & a tolerable collection of Lichens..
In Capt. Kings collections I do not find specimens which answer to the fragments of some of the most interesting plants, which I gathered on the top of Mt Forster Kater's Peak & Cape Spinser.. but which I fully expect to meet with in yours..
I am exceedingly glad to think you attach so much importance to the comparison of the
Arctic plants with the Antarctic as it was my aim throughout to establish an Analogy
between the two hemispheres, & to draw up tables upon several plans, shewing for
instance the proportion of plants in each of the predominant Nat. Ords. common to both,
as also how that proportion diminishes in leaving the lower forms & ascending to
the higher. The most striking analogies in the whole Vegetable
kingdom exist between the floras of
In alpine V.D Land & New Zealand there are very few forms analogous to Northern Europæan or Asiatic, whilst in Antarctic America or Alpine America there are many. Some few boreal plants reappear in Fuegia, which have not hitherto been found in any intermediate latitude..
Some plants of the lower orders have a range of 144 degrees of latitude, one or two of them being found at the level of the sea throughout. Even on the very limit of Vegetation in the Antarctic regions, in 63 South, a new form of vegetable life appears, (confined to that latitude,) in a remarkable large species of Fucus, I know of no analogous instance in the North.—
There are several data which I very much want towards
elucidating the Botanical Geography of
In my Antarctic flora I intend (following my fathers advice) to include
The Vegetation of Kerguelens Land is entirely that of Southernmost America, almost all
its plants being common to the two, few in proportion common to it &
The Falkland Isld. flora seems to combine the Patagonian with
the Fuegian, I think of including it with the latter.
I do not know what limit to take in going North on the W. coast of
S. Am. the vegetation so gradually blends itself with that of a warmer region,
& yet it must stop somewhere. I am anxious to take in the glacier bound Gulf of
Peñas & the Peninsula tres Montes, which would be very tolerable
geographical features, & if I knew any Botanical ones it would be much
better— Can you tell me what the Northern limit of the Deciduous or Evergreen
beech may be at the level of the sea, you mention one as common in the Chonos
Archipelago, but not so abundant in proportion to other trees, as it is to the
My father is very anxious to get some information about the Alerse tree, he has specimens of a Thuja (from Mr Bridges) called by that name; an upright growing tree with densely imbricated leaves, quadrifariously arranged round the branches, & a fruit of 4 woody valves, this specimen however seems identical with a plant described by Mr Don, as Juniperus uvivera, which was brought by a Mr Middleton from Cape Horn!— (I suppose Fuegia is meant).. This may be the plant mentioned in Capt. Kings Voyage.—
Your Gallapago Isld plants will be extremely interesting, there are a few in my fathers
herbarium collected by the late David Douglas who first discovered the
Amblyrhynchus. I hope that the plants will be as peculiar as
those of St
Did you collect any plants in the Isld of Ascenscion. I had
one days botanizing & found 8 species of ferns & 3 or
4 plants (native), of these only 2 ferns were common to it &
My father desires his kind compliments to you & begs me to say, that it would give him the greatest pleasure to see Mrs Darwin & yourself at Kew where we have a few of your Fuegian friends growing—
With many thanks for your kind attention | Believe me with much | respect | Yours most truly | Jos D Hooker.
- f1 717.f1Miles Joseph Berkeley described some of CD's Beagle fungi in Berkeley 1840.
- f2 717.f2A new genus of fungus, related to the morel, described in Berkeley 1845. C. darwinii is parasitic on the evergreen beech (see Journal of Researches, p. 124). Hooker's new species, C. hookeri, grows on the deciduous beech (J. D. Hooker 1844–7, p. 452). It would appear that CD was encouraged, perhaps by Robert Brown, to collect this plant, before he left England. His notes on how to preserve various kinds of specimens include the comment ‘Collect 2 species of parasites growing on the Beech trees in Terra del Fuego, & wood where they grow.—’ (DAR 29.3 (last ser.): 2v.).
- f3 717.f3Philip Parker King. ‘King's is certainly the most complete flora ever formed in those countries [Fuegia and the west coast of Patagonia]’ (J. D. Hooker 1844–7, p. 222).
- f4 717.f4Peaks on Hermite Island.
- f5 717.f5CD climbed Kater's Peak on Christmas Day 1832 (Voyage, p. 124).
- f6 717.f6Antarctic.
- f7 717.f7Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania.
- f8 717.f8The sea-weed Scytothalia Jacquinotii. See J. D. Hooker 1844–7, pp. 456–7.
- f9 717.f9Narrative 1: 49 reports luxuriant growth of ‘evergreens’ on the sheltered south shore of St Gabriel Channel.
- f10 717.f10Bolax glebaria, a plant characteristic of Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, and associated islands, is not found on Lord Auckland's group or Campbell Island.
- f11 717.f11Journal of researches, p. 349.
- f12 717.f12Thomas Bridges. W. J. Hooker wanted the information for W. J. Hooker 1844a. J. D. Hooker corrected the identification: the alerce is Fitzroya cupressoides and Thomas Bridges' thuja was T. tetragona,‘a rare Magellanic plant’ (J. D. Hooker 1844–7, p. 350).
- f13 717.f13David Don described Juniperus uvifera, collected by Robert Morton Middleton, in the appendix to Lambert 1828–37. See W. J. Hooker 1844a, p. 149.
- f14 717.f14Narrative 1: 281–3.
- f15 717.f15David Douglas collected Galápagos plants in 1825. The Galápagos lizard, Amblyrhynchus, was first described by Gabriel Bibron (see Reptiles, pp. 22–3).
- f16 717.f16Hugh Cuming and Archibald Menzies both collected plants in the Galápagos, sending their collections to the British Museum.