To J. D. Hooker 5 July 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Hooker
Am I right in supposing that in Linnean Journal p. 5. your words “some states of the Wahlenbergia saxicola” means a variation of this species; & does it mean that this variation alone presents “the unequal inclined anthers &c”.2
I ask because this wd be a valuable case to add to my list of variations of one species assuming the character of a distinct, but allied species or genus.—3
I am particularly interested on this point.—
The briefest answer will suffice. If you had been a stranger I shd have quoted the sentence, but it is far safer to ask.—
Ever yours | C. Darwin
P.S. I have just had a seed case which has surprised me: Fresh Nuts sink in sea-water; but old Spanish nuts float for between 75 & upwards of 90 days— after this prolonged bath, I opened one & it looked so fresh, that I planted 2 others & one has germinated well—4 I had fancied a seed with so much organized matter wd have assuredly gone bad when after having been long dry, & then kept in water for 3 months.—
What a capital number of the Linnean Journal! Owen’s is a grand Paper; but I cannot swallow Man making a division as distinct from a Chimpanzee, as an ornithorhynchus from a Horse: I wonder what a Chimpanzee wd say to this?5
Does JDH’s Wahlenbergia confirm CD’s law? Variations of one species assume the character of a distinct but allied species or genus.
Seed-salting: old ones float and germinate.
Owen’s "grand paper" [? J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 2 (1858): 1–37].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2117,” accessed on 27 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2117