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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Asa Gray   24 March [1880]1

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

March 24th

My dear Gray

I thank you much for the 2 seeds of Megarrhiza: I hope that they may germinate for I shd. very much like to see a longitudinal section & the proportion of the parts, when the (apparent) root is only 12 or 13 of inch out of the seed-coats.2

You must not suppose that what is obvious to you is so to me; for as the confluent petioles of the Cots. of the Delphinium are not tubular at first, I was astonished to see the young leaves coming out of a hole or slit at their base.3

Very many thanks for all your information about the Megarrhiza, the germination of which has interested me greatly.—4

I was much amused by your little article on the Philadelphia lawyer. You are a first-rate hand in touching up a fool.—5 The lawyer is a cool man in trying to make me out a rogue; but this seems the fashion & according to Mr S. Butler in the Athenæum I am a rogue of the deepest dye, because I forgot to state that Dr Krause had altered his article on Erasmus Darwin before sending it to England for translation.6

Ever yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Thanks for Megarrhiza seeds and information. Has been greatly interested by Megarrhiza germination.

Samuel Butler has attacked CD over Erasmus Darwin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Asa Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (130)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12545,” accessed on 24 August 2019,