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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [28 April 1845]

– should shew him during my absence if you liked.

Either you have misunderstood me, or I have ill expressed myself about the Galapago plants, it was only the first part that I had got ready, I however devoted 10 days uninterruptedly lately & finished the species of all the rest, except the Leguminosæ, some 18, which Bentham will do. Said first-part has been 3 months before the L. Soc. but is not printed, when it is I shall not forget you.1 The proportion of new species is prodigious & even the old ones have been most difficult to name, as there are no floras of Mexico Peru & Chili, There are 185 species in all, a goodly number, (of flowering plants & 42 Cryptogamic)

Of the flowering, 100 I am sure are new & most probably confined to the group. thus distributed diag Jas Isld has 71 species 38 of which are confined to the Archipelago

of these there are peculiar to the individual Isld— 30 Chas Isld — 68 — 29 ———— 21 Albem —— 46 — 26 ———— 22 Chatham — 32 — 16 ———— 12ramme

These results are most delightful & as soon as the Legum. are done, which will alter very slightly, the above, (they are included roughly determined by myself) I shall set to work with the essay on the distrib. of the species.2 Thus, though Albemarle is one of the largest, it is the most sterile & the most peculiar, it is not only most different from the coast, but its new species are all but 4 peculiar to itself. I shall work the whole thing out very carefully at Edinbro. There are 21 compositæ of 12 genera. all but one species peculiar to the Archip. & 10 of the genera ditto. The most remarkable genus of these is Scalesia (arborescent) it has 6 species, & not one found on two of the Islds. I have also cursorily bolstered up materials for a florula of Juan Fernandez, to compare with this, there are some striking analogies, but the J. F. flora is as peculiar as any in the world, even as St. Helena!, both are rather more so than Galapagos. J. F. hardly contains one coast plant, its Compos are wonderful & have no affinity but with a new species I turned up amongst my Fathers dubiæ from Elizabeth Isld. I do not see that the Galap’s have the slightest affinity with the S. Sea Islds.—

The St. Lorenzo Lichen I can make nothing of but have sent it to Dr Taylor,3 with no hopes however: as I could not find fructification. You notice somewhere a blown-about-Lichen on the Andes, at Quillota is it?—it is an Usnea perhaps the Antarctic U. melaxantha but the specimens are very imperfect.4

You may depend I shall give speaking lectures the moment I am able, but I should infallibly stick were I to begin so: I feel very earth-quaquey already. I find it hard enough to write them, I am apt to get into an inflated style, which of all things I hate in others. You will see this in a little paper on Southern Coniferæ which I have put aside for you.5 It is mighty hard to write good English. I am now cobbling up a course, but find it far more agreeable to break off & write to you. My Edinbro address is 20 Abercrombie Place where I have taken 2 rooms, I quite forget whereabouts that is. Forbes tells me that he can trace a connection between the Botany & Geology of W. Ireland with both these features of Portugal, the Bot relation is notorious.6 There is a similar relation mentioned in “Asie Centrale” between the Bruyeries of Holland across to Tobolsk?7 & I thought when reading it that that stretched into Norfolk & Suffolk, Newmarket heath &c.. Brown shewed me a funny thing. Some Liverpool Parson, after reading “Vestiges”, had written to all Geologists for proofs on the contrary, & rather coolly, printed all the answers.8 Every one, but Delabeche, referred said parson to their own works!— I could not get the thing. I suppose you have read Bosanquets answer,9 it is not half so nice as Vestiges. Do not growl at this long letter, I shall not trouble you again for some time—I go on Wednes〈day〉 & commence on Monday—

Farewell | J D Hooker

CD annotations

1.1 should … liked.] crossed pencil
2.7 185] ‘40225’ added pencil below 10
2.8 42 Cryptogamic] ‘0’ added pencil over ‘2’11
3.2 distributed] ‘((I do not understand))’ added pencil
3.3 Jas Isld] ‘(other isld of group)’ added pencil above
3.3 Jas Isld] ‘8’ added pencil before
3.5 Chas Isld] ‘8’ added pencil before
3.6 Albem] ‘4’ added pencil before
3.7 Chatham] ‘4’ added pencil before
CD created a new column in the table ‘ie other parts of world (inhabited)’ to go after Hooker’s ‘which are confined to the archipelago’. The figures he calculated for each row are ‘33’, ‘39’, ‘18’, ‘16’
‘Leguminosæ (not too much confidence)’ added to table
scored pencil
4.14 Elizabeth Isld.] underl pencil
crossed pencil
6.12 & Suffolk … Hooker 7.1] crossed pencil


Hooker presented the first results of his Galápagos work at three meetings of the Linnean Society, on 4 March, 6 May, and 16 December 1845, but the paper was not published until 1851 (J. D. Hooker 1845d). He sent CD a copy (Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL).
J. D. Hooker 1846.
Thomas Taylor, an expert on mosses and lichens, who provided much of the material on cryptogams in J. D. Hooker 1844–7.
Journal of researches, p. 444. Hooker was attempting to chart the geographical range of Usnea melaxantha, see J. D. Hooker 1844–7, pp. 519–21.
Edward Forbes was to announce his theory in June that year (E. Forbes 1845).
Humboldt 1843, 1: 54–5, in which the distribution of heaths across Europe is discussed.
Hume 1845, a response to [Chambers] 1844.
Bosanquet 1845.
CD’s ‘40225’ was written directly below Hooker’s ‘185’. Thus he could have been adding the number of flowering plants to the cryptogamic plants to get the total number of species. However, it is unclear exactly what Hooker meant, as CD pointed out later (see enclosure with letter to J. D. Hooker, [11–12 July 1845]).
See Hooker’s annotation on the enclosure with letter to J. D. Hooker, [11–12 July 1845], n. 22, and letter from J. D. Hooker, [after 12 July 1845], where Hooker corrects this figure to ‘40’.


First part of "Galapagos flora" ["Plants of the Galapagos Archipelago", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 20 (1851): 163–233] finished but not printed.

Details of distribution of Galapagos flora. Peculiarity of island floras.

Leaves for Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 100: 48
Physical description
2pp inc ††

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 862,” accessed on 28 June 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3