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Darwin Correspondence Project

From H. C. Watson   20 November [1854]1

Thames Ditton

20 Novr.

Dear Sir

Since sending to post my letter of yesterday’s date it has occurred to me that perhaps my collecting of plants in the Azore islands may be nearer what you require, than is any British record I can refer to.

On the islands of Fayal & Flores, I landed many times and at several different places,—rambling about with the special object of seeing & collecting all the flowering plants & ferns. And I deem it very likely that my lists are not far from a full flora of these isles.

On going over the lists,—and rejecting those species of way sides & cultivated ground, which are the accompaniments of man & agriculture in all climates at all similar, & therefore probably introduced by the inhabitants of the Azore islands,—I find the following numbers left, to represent the genuine flora:— diag Fayal:—

Flowering species…. 129.

Ferns & allies (3)… 27




Flowering species…. 122

Ferns & allies (3)… 22



The superficial area of these two islands is below 100 square miles I presume. Their composition, so far as I saw, & could tell, is entirely volcanic, without strata.

Faithfy Yours | Hewett C. Watson

CD annotations

crossed pencil
Top of first page: ‘20’brown crayon


Sends a count of the number of species of flowering plants and ferns on the islands of Fayal and Flores in the Azores.

Letter details

Letter no.
Hewett Cottrell Watson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Thames Ditton
Source of text
DAR 205.4: 101
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1605,” accessed on 20 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5