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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   18 [October 1855]1


Thursday Evening | 18th.—

My dear Hooker.

The two enclosed seeds came the smaller from the Loffoden Isld. & the larger from near Alten.2 They have now floated for 10 days on salt-water. Will you be so kind as to endeavour to name them: I presume the most that you can do will be to give me the generic names: perhaps, if you do not know them, Sir William or Mr. Bentham might do so.—3 Professor Blytt is anxious to know & I am bound to oblige him; I shd be glad to hear pretty soon— Will you, also, have them immediately planted in whatever way is thought best for Tropical seeds.—

As they float, I do not care much about them myself, as this floating is certainly exceptional.—4 I believe I shall have others sent: I hope that you will think it worth while to have them fairly & well tried.

You were very very good to send me so interesting a letter, & now that you must be so busy: I was very glad indeed to receive it.— I am not quite sure that I shall be up next Thursday for the Club,5 but think I shall

Your’s Ever. C. Darwin


Dated by CD’s reference to a meeting of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society (see n. 5, below) and to the seeds he had received from Norway (see n. 2, below).
William Jackson Hooker and George Bentham. At the head of the letter, Hooker wrote ‘Mucuna’ and ‘Entada scandens?’, both tropical Leguminosae carried to Norway by the Gulf Stream.
The Philosophical Club of the Royal Society met on 25 October 1855 (Bonney 1919, p. 129). CD attended the council meeting on the same day (Royal Society council minutes).


Bonney, T. G. 1919. Annals of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society written from its minute books. London: Macmillan.


Seeds of two tropical island plants have floated for ten days.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 146
Physical description
ALS 4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1742,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

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