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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Gordon1   24 December 1855

Hothouse & Hardy Dept

Decr 24th. 1855

The young plants from Beatons2 seeds grew well the first season, but when the tops died down the[y] formed no roots and perished

The other Cross between Brunsvigia Josephinæ & Vallota purpurea have done well, we have now two nice bulbs.3

George Gordon

CD annotations

1.1 The young plants] ‘of Cystanthus crossed by Vallota’ added pencil
[Q]added pencil, circled pencil
2.1 Vallota] ‘Amaryllis’ added pencil
Top of page: ‘17’4 brown crayon


Superintendent of the hardy and hothouse departments at the gardens of the Horticultural Society of London at Chiswick.
Donald Beaton, gardener in Hatfield and then in Kilburn, was the author of several papers on hybridisation of plants.
Beaton’s cross-fertilisations between Amaryllis belladonna and Brunswigia josephinae, and between the former and Vallota purpurea, had been described in Beaton 1850. CD discussed his results in Variation 2: 139 in relation to the observable increase in fertility after cross-breeding between species of Amaryllis. In a note, CD further recorded (p. 139 n. 76): ‘The seedlings thus raised were given to the Hort. Soc.; but I find, on inquiry, that they unfortunately died the following winter.’
CD’s portfolio of notes on hybrids.


Reports success of hybrid cross with Vallota and the failure of another cross.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Gordon
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Hothouse and Hardy Dept
Source of text
DAR 205.7: 281
Physical description
1p †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1799,” accessed on 22 March 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5