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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   19 October 1875


Oct 19/75

Dear Darwin

Imantophyllum are quite greenhouse plants. Keep them cool & not too wet in winter & if well potted in Spring they will flower superbly.1

There is some mistake in calling the Paritium a Cistus. It is the Hibiscus tiliaceus L, a name now adopted Paritium being a section of Hibiscus.2

P.S. I see it is Hibiscus in the work from which the Extract is taken.3

Ever aff yrs | Jos D Hooker

I am horridly ashamed of myself for forgetting to enclose this, & fear I have put you to the expense of a Telegraph message— I thought you would be in a hurry to answer Tait & so telegraphed that you might know his address4


CD had received plants of Imantophyllum (a synonym of Clivia) from Hooker (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 15 October [1875] and n. 7).
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 15 October [1875] and n. 5. In modern botanical nomenclature, a subdivision of a genus such as a section is indicated by the section name given in parentheses between the genus and species epithet (International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, III.3.21). Common practice varied at this time, with many botanists using only the subgeneric name and species epithet. The genus name Paritium is now considered to be illegitimate (Fryxell 2001, p. 226).
Hooker probably refers to William Bell’s description of the sport of Hibiscus tricuspis published in Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh 8 (1860–3): 565–6; CD had referred to this in Variation 1: 377–8. The species is now known as Talipariti hastatum.
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 15 October [1875] and n. 3. Hooker had sent a telegraph with Lawson Tait’s address. Hooker returned the letter from Tait of 11 October 1875, which CD had sent with his letter to Hooker of 13 October [1875]. The Post Office took over the telegraph service from the railway companies in 1870; it charged 1s for twenty words with free delivery within a mile of the receiving telegraph office. Delivery over a mile was paid by the addressee. See Correspondence vol. 19, letter to John Lubbock, [1871 or later], and Kieve 1973, p. 289).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fryxell, Paul A. 2001. Talipariti (Malvaceae), a segregate from Hibiscus. Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium 23: 225–70.

Kieve, Jeffrey L. 1973. The electric telegraph: a social and economic history. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Gives directions for growing plants he has sent and corrects CD’s taxonomy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 40–1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10205,” accessed on 12 December 2019,

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