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Letter 12532

Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R.

11 Mar 1880

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    Sends seeds of Megarrhiza and gives details of species.


Herbarium of Harvard University, Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

March 11 1880.

Dear Darwin

I send you ``one more'' of the flat seeds, which has been about 10 days in damp sand. There are 3 others, perhaps not sound, we will watch

How could the plumule of Delphinium nudicaule get out, but through the united petioles.?

I sent you—to laugh at a notice in The Nation., of a Philadelphia lawyers Refutation of Darwinism. The adage is that ``a Philadelphia Lawyer is a match for the Devil''. But a mere imp is a match for this one.

As to the names of the species by the seeds, it is not clear— But, according to $Watson$, who has done his best with them, the one with large ovate turgid seeds rather pointed at one end, the germination of which is figured in Amer. Jour. Sci. & in Text-Book is Megarrhiza Californica, I suppose

The M. Oregana has flattish seeds; I have stopped & looked into this matter. There are two species clear.

1. A Californian one (M. Californica, with obovoid seeds & hilum at the small end—well figured by $Naudin$ in Ann. Sci. Nat. ser. 4, 12, t. 9. The last seeds sent you must be of this, & it must include at least Watson's M. Californica & M. muricata.

2. M. Oregana, with oblate and flatter seeds, the hilum at middle of a long side, seed sent. And these seeds, supplied by a florist—must have come from Oregon.

The particular source of the seeds I germinated is uncertain, but surely Californian. If from San Francisco then probably M. Marah, a 3rd species. We will try to get them in cultivation. But tho' they will grow here, we have not been able to flower them!

Yours ever | A. Gray

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