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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. C. Babington   16 March 1877

5 Brookside | Cambridge

16 Mar. 1877

Dear Darwin,

I think that the flowers of Hottonia project from the stem nearly horizontally as represented in Eng. Bot. 364 (Syme 1128), perhaps slightly upwards.1

I am sorry that I cannot help you about Pulmonaria angustifolia as my supply of that plant is exceedingly small.2 I have never seen it growing myself. Will not Borrers Herb.3 at Kew help you in the matter, as I cannot.

I am alway rejoiced when I can help you.

Yours very truly | Charles C. Babington.


No letter from CD asking about the plants mentioned in this letter has been found. Hottonia palustris (water violet or featherfoil) is described and illustrated in English botany; or, coloured figures of British plants, with their essential characters, synonyms, and places of growth (J. E. Smith and Sowerby 1790–1814, 6: 364). It appeared in the third edition (Syme ed. 1863–92 7: pl. 1128, opposite p. 130). CD described H. palustris in Forms of flowers, pp. 50–4.
In 1863 and 1864, CD corresponded frequently with his son William Erasmus Darwin on the two forms of Pulmonaria angustifolia (narrow-leaved lungwort; see Correspondence vols. 11 and 12). CD described P. angustifolia in Forms of flowers, pp. 104–10.
Borrers Herb.: the herbarium at Kew had acquired the extensive collection of British plants of William Borrer on his death in 1862 (ODNB).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Thinks flowers of Hottonia project from the stem nearly horizontally, perhaps slightly upwards.

Sorry that he cannot help with Pulmonaria angustifolia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Cardale Babington
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 111: B49
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10894,” accessed on 13 July 2024,