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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Miles Joseph Berkeley   18 March [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

March 18th

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your note of the 7th & kind permission to incorporate your facts: I have now sent a little notice to the Linnean Soc.—2

Many thanks, also, for your remarks on the Peas.— I send a few of the Peas, which produce the black or intensely purple pods.—3

Pray believe me | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from M. J. Berkeley, 7 March 1856 (see Correspondence vol. 6).
Berkeley had experimented on the immersion in sea-water of seeds of different kinds of plants to determine how long they could remain immersed and still germinate. See Correspondence vol. 6, letter to M. J. Berkeley, 29 February [1856] and n. 3, and letter from M. J. Berkeley, 7 March 1856. The notice CD refers to is ‘On the action of sea-water on the germination of seeds’ (read 6 May 1856; Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 1 (1857): 130–40, Collected papers 1: 264–73). CD referred to Berkeley several times in his account of their joint experiments; see also Origin, pp. 358–60. CD’s notes for and manuscript of this paper are in DAR 27.1 E and F. See also Correspondence vol. 5, letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, 21 November [1855].
In his letter to Berkeley of 29 February [1856] (Correspondence vol. 6), CD mentioned a neighbour’s ‘curious pea with black pods’; Berkeley had suggested the difference might be due to ‘mere variation and not to impregnation’, and asked for a sample (letter from M. J. Berkeley, 7 March 1856).


Thanks MJB for information which he is including in his article for the Linnean Society.

Refers to the peas "which produce the black or intensely purple pods". [See 1834 and 1836.]

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1843A,” accessed on 18 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)