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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Asa Gray   17 February [1878]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Feb. 17th

My dear Gray

I thank you much for your pleasant letter of Feb. 3d.2 Hooker has been here 2 or 3 times (as Lady H. has been here for a fortnight as a sanatarium)3 & I told him about Linum perenne & he was interested & looked to his Colorado specimens.4 He finds “the American form is less strongly heterostyled than the European, & that the stamens & styles are even equal in some specimens”; but he also finds variability in length in the European specimens.—

If I was forced to wager I wd. bet that the American form would prove at least functionally a distinct species.— If you could get & send me seed of the Colorado form, I wd grow both forms & see if they could be intercrossed artificially, & I would try whether the homostyled individuals were self-fertile.—5

Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin


Heterostyly in Linum perenne. Believes the American form may be a distinct species.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Asa Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (129)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11364,” accessed on 17 November 2019,