To Thomas Rivers 1 February 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I can answer your query on much higher authority than any observations which I could make in months of time.2 The “stomata” or mouths, which by their lips have power of opening & closing, & which when opened put the spaces within the leaf into free communication with the open air, are far more abundant on the lower than on the upper surface of leaf.— “More commonly there are few or none on the upper side.”3 In the white lily it has been calculated that there are in square inch of surface, 60,000 stomata on lower surface, & only 3,000 on upper surface; in the apple there are 24,000 to the inch: in some plants 170,000 to the square inch.!4
I have often marvelled over the American type of features.—5
I was heartily glad to see your handwriting, for I was meditating a query: I am taking “Weeping trees”, as an example how inexplicable the laws of inheritance are; some weeping trees reproducing themselves almost truly by seed, & some quite failing to do so.—
Can you give me any certain facts on character of seedlings from a weeping trees?6
Also have you ever sowed from a sporting branch or bud (i.e. case of bud-variation) & if so what was result:—7 I know case of Boston Nectarine.—8
My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin
If no answer, I will understand no facts.—
Answers TR’s query about stomata.
CD will use "weeping trees" as an example of how inexplicable the laws of inheritance are, and asks for facts on character of seedlings.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3962,” accessed on 18 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3962