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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edouard Bornet1   [before 20 August 1867]2

Antibes | Alpes Maritimes

Monsieur,

Nous voici à l’époque indiquée par M. Jordan pour semer les graines de Draba verna. Je prends la liberté de vous en adresser 10 formes différentes que nous avons cultivées l’hiver dernier à Antibes et qui sont intéressantes à observer.3 La culture est très facile et ne demande presque aucun soin.

M. Jordan recommande de faire le semis “vers la fin d’Août ou au commencement de Septembre, dans des pots que l’on enterre à peu près au niveau du Sol et que l’on tient assez éloignés les uns des autres, jusqu’à ce que les graines soient bien levées. Elles se développeront d’abord en belles rosettes pendant l’automne, et donneront ensuite 〈    〉 fleurs, dès les premiers beaux jours du 〈printem〉ps.”

〈L〉es semis de Papaver ont été très-contrariés 〈    〉 le mauvais temps et ont très-mal réussi. Un seul des croisements que j’avais faits est venu à bien, c’est l’hybride du Pap. dubium (modestum, Jord.) L. fécondé par le pollen du Pap. Rhœas (cruciatum, Jord.).4 La plante etait extraordinairement vigoureuse. Elle avait le port et les fruits du P. dubium, mais les fleurs etaient plus grandes, plus rouges et souvent marquées d’une large croix noire. Les rayons stigmatiques etaient violets et fortement papilleux comme dans le P. Rhœas. Cet hybride etait absolument sterile. Les anthères ne contenaient point de pollen. Les ovules, que j’ai examinés avec soin, m’ont paru bien conformés.

J’ai reçu l’an passé le mémoire que vous avez eu la bonté de m’envoyer et je vous prie de recevoir mes bien sincères remerciements.5

Veuillez, Monsieur, agréer l’assur〈ance de〉 mes sentiments respectueux | Ed. Bornet

CD annotations

Top of first page: ‘Sterility of close Specie’ pencil

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix I.
The year is established by Bornet’s reference to receiving the memoir sent by CD (see n. 5, below). The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Edouard Bornet, 20 August [1867].
Alexis Jordan described twenty forms of Draba verna (now Erophila verna), classifying these as separate species with the genus name Erophila, in the first part of Icones ad floram Europæ novo fundamento instaurandam spectantes (Jordan and Fourreau 1866–1903). Bornet’s experimental work was done in the garden of Gustave Alphonse Thuret at Antibes in the south of France.
Papaver modestum is described in Jordan 1851, p. 215; P. cruciatum is described in Jordan 1860, pp. 465–6. Jordan maintained that P. rhoeas as described by other authors corresponded to approximately twenty separate species by his account (Jordan 1860, p. 467).
CD had sent a copy of ‘Climbing plants’ to Bornet by the same post as his letter to Bornet of 1 December 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14).

Bibliography

‘Climbing plants’: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 2 February 1865.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 9 (1867): 1–118.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Jordan, Alexis. 1851. Pugillus plantarum novarum. Mémoires de l’Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres, et Arts de Lyon. Classe des Sciences 2d ser. 1: 212–358.

Jordan, Alexis. 1860. Diagnoses d’espèces nouvelles ou méconnues pour servir de matériaux à une flore de France réformée. Annales de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon 7: 373–518.

Translation

From Edouard Bornet1   [before 20 August 1867]2

Antibes | Alpes Maritimes

Dear Sir,

We are now at the time of year during which M. Jordan indicated that Draba verna seeds should be sown. I take the liberty of sending you ten different kinds that we cultivated last winter in Antibes and that are interesting to observe.3 Their cultivation is very easy and requires virtually no care.

M. Jordan recommends sowing them “towards the end of August or the beginning of September, in pots that are planted almost level with the soil and that are kept rather distant from each other, until the seeds are well grown. They will at first develop into beautiful rosettes during the autumn and will then produce 〈    〉 flowers, from the first fine days of spring.” The seedlings of Papaver have been very adversely affected 〈    〉 the bad weather and have done very badly. Only one of the crosses that I made has come out well, that is the hybrid of Pap. dubium (modestum, Jord.) L. fertilized by the pollen of Pap. Rhœas (cruciatum, Jord.).4 The plant was extraordinarily vigorous. It had the appearance and the fruits of P. dubium but the flowers were much larger, redder, and often marked with a large black cross. The stigmatic rays were violet and strongly papillate as in P. Rhœas. This hybrid was absolutely sterile. The anthers did not contain any pollen. The ovules, which I examined with care, appeared to me to be well formed.

Last year I received the memoir that you had the kindness to send me and I beg you to accept my most sincere thanks.5

Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my respectful regards | Ed. Bornet

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original French, see p. 352.
The year is established by Bornet’s reference to receiving the memoir sent by CD (see n. 5, below). The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Edouard Bornet, 20 August [1867].
Alexis Jordan described twenty forms of Draba verna (now Erophila verna), classifying these as separate species with the genus name Erophila, in the first part of Icones ad floram Europæ novo fundamento instaurandam spectantes (Jordan and Fourreau 1866–1903). Bornet’s experimental work was done in the garden of Gustave Alphonse Thuret at Antibes in the south of France.
Papaver modestum is described in Jordan 1851, p. 215; P. cruciatum is described in Jordan 1860, pp. 465–6. Jordan maintained that P. rhoeas as described by other authors corresponded to approximately twenty separate species by his account (Jordan 1860, p. 467).
CD had sent a copy of ‘Climbing plants’ to Bornet by the same post as his letter to Bornet of 1 December 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14).

Bibliography

‘Climbing plants’: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 2 February 1865.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 9 (1867): 1–118.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Jordan, Alexis. 1851. Pugillus plantarum novarum. Mémoires de l’Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres, et Arts de Lyon. Classe des Sciences 2d ser. 1: 212–358.

Jordan, Alexis. 1860. Diagnoses d’espèces nouvelles ou méconnues pour servir de matériaux à une flore de France réformée. Annales de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon 7: 373–518.

Summary

Sends ten different forms of Draba and Jordan’s instructions on when to sow seeds.

Reports sterility of a cross of two varieties of Papaver.

Thanks CD for a memoir.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-5592
From
Jean-Baptiste-Édouard (Édouard) Bornet
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Antibes
Source of text
DAR 160: 256
Physical description
3pp (French) damaged †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5592,” accessed on 23 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-5592.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15

letter