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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Thomas Moore to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   15 February 1876

Chelsea Botanic Garden

Feb 15. 1876

My dear Dyer

The Cinerarias have no special names but are such as would be obtained from any good packet of seed of the florists Cinerarias. This therefore can scarcely be what Mr Darwin means—though there are varieties of similar character to which trivial names are applied. As a rule, however, fewer Cinerarias are now named that formerly, as it is found that a good strain of the seed will yield a large proportion of what are considered as good flowers for decoration

I presume Mr Darwin wishes for the name of the species or type from which the garden Cinerarias have sprung.1 This is principally from Senecio cruentus (originally called Cineraria cruenta: hence the garden name) partly from S. Tussilaginis more or less originally intermixed with one or all of the fruticosi species named in Db. Prod. vi. 409— See Bot. Mag. t 3215, Bot. Mag. 1839 t. 7.2 For the last 30 years or more cross breeding between the varieties successively raised has been going on, so that very little of the originals is left.

Yours very truly | Thos Moore3


CD had sent Thiselton-Dyer cinerarias from his greenhouse and asked for their botanical name (see letter from Charles and Francis Darwin to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 14 February [1876]).
Senecio cruentus is a synonym of Pericallis cruenta (wild cineraria); S. tussilaginis is a synonym of Pericallis tussilaginis (colt’s-foot cineraria). Descriptions of S. cruentus and S. tussilaginis are given in Prodromus systematis naturalis (A. P. de Candolle and Candolle 1824–73, 6: 410). There is an image of Cineraria cruenta in Botanical Magazine 12 (1798): plate 406, and of Cineraria tussilaginis in ibid. 60 (1833): plate 3215. Moore evidently made an error in his reference for C. cruenta.
At the bottom of the letter, Thiselton-Dyer wrote, ‘S. Heriteri | S. maderensis | S. populifolius’. Senecio heritieri is a synonym of Pericallis lanata; S. maderensis is a synonym of P. aurita; S. populifolius is a synonym of S. halimifolius.


Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de and Candolle, Alphonse de. 1824–73. Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis, sive enumeratio contracta ordinum generum specierumque plantarum huc usque cognitarum, juxta methodi naturalis normas digesta. 19 vols. Paris: Treuttel & Würtz [and others].


Responds to CD’s request for the names of species from which Cineraria varieties supplied to him have sprung. [Cross and self-fertilisation, p. 335 n.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Moore
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
Chelsea Bot. Gard.
Source of text
DAR 76: B186–7
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10394,” accessed on 17 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24