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Darwin Correspondence Project


To Asa Gray   20 January [1880]

My dear Gray

This is a P.S. to yesterday’s letter to say that the drawing at p. 21 of your text Book wd. represent perfectly all that I have seen, supposing that a line were drawn, representing the surface of the soil, 12 inch above the seed, assuming that the seed had been sown at 12 inch depth.— You may perhaps like to hear that the first true leaves break out through a split at base of confluent petioles of Delphinium nudicaule presicely as in Megarrhiza. The swelling of the plumules bursts the tube, & then the bowing downwards of the tip of the plumules of Megarrhiza, forces it laterally out of the tube. The tip is at first straight.—

This bowing down of the tip is a very common or rather universal movement with seedlings, but here it plays a new part.

Ever yours | C. Darwin

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Gray, Asa
Sent from
Source of text
Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (127)
Physical description


Germination of Delphinium and Megarrhiza.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12436,” accessed on 27 May 2016,