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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   18 [September 1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.


My dear Hooker

We shall all be right glad to see you this day week; let us know Trains to Orpington & in all probability we can send to meet you.—

I much want a query answered.— Consult any of your colleagues learned in physiology.— When a large piece of bark is removed from a tree, does the bark ever regrow in isolated points, separate from the growing margins of the surrounding bark. I fancy I have heard that this is sometimes the case.— It bears on Pangenesis & on little powers of repair by plants.2

If you can answer in affirmative pray send me a line,—if I do not hear, I shall understand your answer is a negative—.

Yours affect, | C. Darwin


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 24 September 1869.
CD discussed the regrowth of bark in his letter to Scientific Opinion, [before 20 October 1869], drawing an analogy with the regrowth of amputated limbs in some animals. CD added a section on the regrowth of amputated parts to his discussion of pangenesis in the second edition of Variation (Variation 2d ed., 2: 357–9), but did not discuss plants.


Asks JDH to consult colleagues learned in physiology for answer to query: when a large piece of bark is removed from a tree, does the bark ever regrow in isolated points [separate] from the growing margin of the surrounding bark? Query bears on Pangenesis and on power of repair in plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 153–4
Physical description
3pp †, †(by D . Oliver)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6896,” accessed on 25 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17