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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Allen Wedgwood1   5 September [1855]2


Sept 5

My dear Harry

I am very much obliged for the Columbine seed & for your note which made us laugh heartily.—

I had no idea what trouble the counting must have been, I had not the least conception that there would have been so many pods. I am very much interested on this point, & therefore to make assurance sure, I repeat your figures, viz 560 & 742 pods on two plants & 7200 on another. Does the latter number really mean pods & not seeds? Upon my life I am sorry to give so much trouble, but I shd be so much obliged for a few average size pods, put up separately that I may count the seeds in each pod; for though I counted the seeds in the pods sent before, I hardly dare trust them without counting more. Moreover I sadly want more seed itself for one of my experiments.—

The young cabbages are coming up already.

Thank you much about the asparagus seed; as it is so rare a plant, you are my only chance.—

We have been grieved to hear about poor Anne & Tom.3

Your affectte. screw | C. Darwin

Have you become acquainted with Mr Huxley; I think you would find him a pleasant acquaintance. He is a very clever man.


Henry Allen Wedgwood was CD’s cousin and brother-in-law.
Dated on the basis of the subject of the letter. CD was investigating the comparative fertility of wild and cultivated plants. See letter to J. S. Henslow, 23 [August or September 1855].
Thomas Josiah Wedgwood and his wife Anne. Tom was a brother of Harry’s wife Jessie.


Thanks HAW for columbine and asparagus seeds and for counting pods for him. CD is astonished at the number of pods. Needs more seeds for one of his experiments.

Has he met Huxley yet? He is a very clever man.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Allen (Harry) Wedgwood
Sent from
Source of text
Oxford University Museum (Hope Entomological collections)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1753,” accessed on 8 May 2021,

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