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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [19 May 1864]1

Thursday

My dear Wm

Yr observation on the 1 big anther with its differently sized pollen grains is a quite new & most extraordinary discovery.2 I remember distinctly seeing one anther much larger than all the others; but I never dreamed of the pollen-grains differing.

Never mind whether it kills you or not search more flowers & measure pollen & keep memorandum how many times you succeed for I shall lay great stress on this to me most unexpected discovery.

I return your letter (which keep most safely) & it may be of service to you, but more especially because I think you have written one, or 2 words wrong which I have pencilled for correction.3

Never mind Menianthes Rhamnus4 or your life but work this out. Goodbye | what weather | C. D.

I wish you many ever get the little mare.5 She does beautifully—

Footnotes

The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters from W. E. Darwin, 18 May [1864] and [20 May 1864] (Correspondence vol. 12).
See Correspondence vol. 12, letter from W. E. Darwin, 18 May [1864]. William had included sketches of the anthers of long-styled and short-styled flowers of Pulmonaria angustifolia (blue cowslip); see also letter from W. E. Darwin, [20 May 1864] and n. 3.
For CD’s annotations, see Correspondence vol. 12, letter from W. E. Darwin, 18 May [1864].
For CD’s query regarding Menyanthes (buckbean or marsh trefoil), see the letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [17 May 1864] (Correspondence vol. 12). For CD’s interest in Rhamnus (buckthorn), see ibid., letter from H. E. Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [18 May 1864] and n. 2. Most of CD’s work on Rhamnus was done in 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14).
The mare was evidently a horse that William planned to buy, but which was kept at Down for some time (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter from H. E. Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [18 May 1864]).

Summary

Mentions WED’s extraordinary discovery of some pollen-grains of different sizes. The observations must be followed up.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-5333
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Darwin, W. E.
Sent from
unstated
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 186
Physical description
( S ) 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5333,” accessed on 4 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5333

letter