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Darwin Correspondence Project


From Asa Gray   3 February 1880

Herbarium of Harvard University,| Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

Feb. 3 1880.

My Dear Darwin

Your letter of the 19th ult, made me open my eyes. I am just off on a little journey, and have only a moment to say that Mr. Watson, Prof. Goodate, my artist who drew the figures & others can make affidavit to the facts. Two or three plants—on one, I think fully 2 inches of the seeming radicle was out of ground   There are 3 or 4 species. The second lot I sent you was probably different from the first, or of 2 species.

If your plants were weak, even of the same species, it might account for their not lifting the weight of the seed.

About nomenclature, following the current nomenclature I called the hypocotyledonousQQQQ internode radicle—properly caudicle.

Please call all below it root, so as to avoid confusion, “Perennial” I should think so! The root is said to be sometimes of the size of a barrel. Those I have seen in California were from the size of a carrot to that of the biggest ruta-baga.; the tip near the surface of the ground,—but under it, where there was no wash,   In haste | Ever Yours | Asa Gray

CD annotations

2.1 If your … the seed. 2.00] scored red crayon
Top of letter: ‘In my case petioles geotropic— In Asa Gray apogeotropic!!’ ink in CD’s hand

Letter details

Letter no.
Gray, Asa
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
Herbarium of Harvard
Source of text
DAR 209.6: 201
Physical description
2pp †


Germination of Megarrhiza. AG’s observations at variance with CD’s.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12455,” accessed on 27 May 2016,