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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lindley   [before 2 September 1843]

Dear Sir

I am infinitely obliged to you for your interesting communications1 which I wd have acknowledged sooner had I been able. The Gentians are new to me, and I think form a valuable addition to the little we know about double flowers.

The Cabbage leaf is not very uncommon.

Thanks too for the Viola—

You will be interested in knowing that a very curious monster found this year near Ely shows the ovule—its nucleus I mean—to be another of the forms of the growing point—quite a new, & to me at least unexpected, fact, which was much wanted to complete the theory of morphological structure.2 The evidence is perfect.

Your Scotch seeds3 proved Rumex Acetosella & this Atriplex—What species I do not know— At present I cannot find it in books. I have sent it to Henslow and shall show it to others— It cannot be any var of A. patula I think.

Very truly yours | John Lindley

Footnotes

See letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [late August 1843].
Refers to the theory of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that all the parts of a plant are metamorphosed leaves. CD accepted the theory as demonstrating the unity of type one would expect under an evolutionary point of view. See Foundations, pp. 38–41, 214–18. The doctrine was considered atheistical by those who maintained that each species was created perfect and immutable.
Seeds discovered by William Kemp (see letter to John Lindley, 8 [April 1843], and letter from John Lindley, [after 8 April 1843]).

Summary

Much interested in CD’s communication [about W. Kemp] and seeds sent; does not know the species; has sent seeds to Henslow.

Describes a monstrous plant found near Ely.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-690
From
Lindley, John
To
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
unstated
Source of text
DAR 50: A21–2
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 690,” accessed on 25 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-690

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