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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. J. Weir   9 July 1875

Weirleigh | Brenchley | Kent

9th July 1875

My Dear Sir

This morning after the receipt of your note I left home for my Brother Harrison Weirs country place, address as above & shall remain there till Monday.—1

The Gardener has cut off and I have sent you a branch of the Laburnum, cut as near as possible to the thick stem, the two smaller shoots at the side are purpureus; the contrast throughout the tree between the two kinds of foliage is most striking, the leaves of the shoots producing the yellow racemes are treble the size of those producing purple flowers, and so very much more robust, I should say that a yellow flowered shoot would grow, in most cases, three or four times as long as a shoot of purpureus in a season.—2

You may dismiss from your mind all doubts as to whether a graft had been inserted, the first yellow sport shewed itself within a few inches of the stock & in a place it could not have been grafted, in fact it came out from the side of the main stem about 5 feet from the ground, this we observed for some years, afterwards about 9 feet from the ground some other yellow flowers shewed themselves, and seeded profusely.—

The gardener could not have budded or grafted the tree without my Brothers very sharp sight observing it.—

I have questioned the head Gardener closely and he assures me the tree has not been tampered with.—

I feel as certain as possible that the case is genuine.—

My Brothers is a wonderful garden all designed by himself and planted with the choicest trees and shrubs, numbering many thousands.—

He has about 6 acres ornamental and an orchard of about 2 acres.—

The exquisite taste displayed in all the minor details is delightful to see.—

Believe me | My Dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | J Jenner Weir

C Darwin Esqr.


CD had asked about the location of Harrison William Weir’s garden (letter to J. J. Weir, 8 July [1875]).
See letter to J. J. Weir, 8 July [1875] and n. 4. The gardener has not been identified.


Sends CD some of the Cytisus, which has produced yellow flowers on a purple graft.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Jenner Weir
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 87
Physical description
ALS 8pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10055,” accessed on 6 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23