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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hewett Cottrell Watson   28 May [1864]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

May 28

My dear Mr Watson

I am extremely obliged to you for all the trouble that you have taken in sending me so many specimens of the Lythrum.2 They have been of great use to me but were actually more than I wanted   I was glad to look at the Texas species.3

I have at last finished my Lythrum paper, which I hope you will think curious.4

Pray believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by CD’s statement that he had just completed his paper on Lythrum (see n. 4, below).
In ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’, p. 190 (Collected papers 2: 124), CD thanked Watson, among others, for sending specimens of what he called Lythrum hyssopifolia; altogether CD was able to examine dried flowers from twenty-two separate plants from different localities. Watson’s specimens, which were sent on 16 and 21 May 1864, are in DAR 142: 94 and 95 (Calendar nos. 4504f and 13891h). See also letters from C. C. Babington, 18 May 1864 and 21 May 1864. CD also received specimens from Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (see DAR 142: 87–8).
Watson sent CD a specimen of a Texan species allied to Lythrum hyssopifolium (see DAR 142: 95); the species was not mentioned in ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’.
CD recorded that he finished his paper ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’ around 25 May 1864 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix II)). For a discussion of CD’s experiments with Lythrum, see letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 April [1864] and n. 7, and Appendix III. Watson’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’ (see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix III).


Thanks HCW for Lythrum specimens.

CD has at last finished his Lythrum paper. ["Three forms of Lythrum", Collected papers 2: 106–31.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hewett Cottrell Watson
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 185: 51
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4512,” accessed on 27 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12