To William Robinson [29 April 1866]1
6. Queen Anne St
I was very sorry to have missed seeing you & hope I shall be more fortunate when I may next be in London; for I return home tomorrow morning.2
I am much obliged for your obliging offer of assistance, which I will keep in mind.3 I may mention (though it is improbable that you can aid me) one point.— If you have Euryale ferox & if it produces more than one flower at a time, I wish you would cross some & fertilise some others with their own pollen, in order to see, when the seeds are counted (which I would undertake), whether the cross aids at all in increasing fertility. Properly pollen ought to be taken for the cross from a distinct plant.— The Euryale is dead at Kew, where they wd. have made the trial on a large scale for me.—4 Prof Caspary has advanced this plant as a case of self-fertilisation for many generations with unimpaired fertility.5
If you have two distinct plants of any Nymphæa, I shd. much like the above trial to be made, but the flowers which are fertilised with own pollen ought to be protected, whilst expanded from insects.—
With my thanks for your kind offer. Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
Is sorry to have missed seeing WR.
Mentions some crossing experiments with Nymphaea and Euryale in which he would be interested, if WR ever had the chance to make them [see Cross and self-fertilisation, p. 365].
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Robinson, William (b)
- Sent from
- London, Queen Anne St, 6
- Source of text
- Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library (Box 2, Package 16)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5072,” accessed on 19 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5072