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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   6 November 1879

Herbarium of Harvard University, | Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

Nov. 6 1879

My Dear Darwin

It is such a pleasure, and a rare sight, to see your handwriting, that I will do anything for you.1 I shall try to get seeds of the Ipomœa & Megarrhiza for you, neither of which seed here.2 But at this season it is doubtful even if the latter can be picked up in California   For the former try Wm. Thompson, seeds-man, Ipswich, on the chance.3 Glad you will turn your mind to what I think is an interesting point.

De Vries wrote me a letter.4

Now, I am a sinful not to have ever thought that you might like to see my revised Text Book, & to have sent it to you.5 Now I think of it, there are sundry things in the book which I could wish you to see, and I wonder I did not send the book

I am famously well—and deep in Solidago—an ungrateful task.6 My wife7 is in bed with a bad cold, but responds to your good wishes.

And hoping you & yours are all well, I am | Very sincerely Yours | Asa Gray


In his letter of 24 October 1879, CD had requested seeds of Ipomoea leptophylla (bush morning-glory) and Megarrhiza californica (a synonym of Marah fabacea, California man-root).
Hugo de Vries (see letter to Asa Gray, 24 October 1879 and n. 5).
Gray was working on a study of Solidago (the genus of goldenrod) in older herbaria (A. Gray 1882).


Gray, Asa. 1879. Gray’s botanical text-book. Vol. I. Structural botany or organography on the basis of morphology. To which is added the principles of taxonomy and phytography, and a glossary of botanical terms. 6th edition. New York and Chicago: Ivison, Blakeman, and Company.

Gray, Asa. 1882. Contributions to North American botany: I. Studies of Aster and Solidago in the older herbaria. [Read 8 February 1882.] Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences n.s. 9: 163–230.


Will try to get Ipomoea and Megarrhiza seeds for CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Herbarium of Harvard
Source of text
DAR 165: 200
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12296,” accessed on 17 April 2021,