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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [3 May 1857]

Moor Park

Sunday morning

My dear Hooker

I have just received your final & most conclusive destruction of woolly-alpine doctrine.1 I shd. hope that these materials (now returned) would be well worth publishing in something:—

Would they not come in well in your Arctic memoir;2 so that I do not apologise for having been the means of stirring you up to prove that your old suspicions were thoroughily well grounded.

It has given my nervous system, as a compiler, a severe shock; I am sure to publish many small generalisations as false as you have shown this to be.— Whenevever you turn to Arctic work, bear in mind Linnæus & Adamson’s remark about flowers becoming apelatous in cold, & therefore Arctic species ought to be normally apetalous in many cases.—3

I am not sure whether you meant me to return you your note accompanying your Statistics, if so, let me hear & I will return it.4

I return Asa Gray’s list of Alpines.—

I suppose you will soon have back Mrs. Hooker.— Her presence has been a great thing for Etty, & pray give her my best thanks for all her kindness to Etty.

My dear Hooker | Most truly yours | Ch. Darwin


J. D. Hooker 1862.
CD refers to a manuscript list, drawn up by Hooker, tabulating alpine plants according to their ‘woolliness’ (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [2 May 1857]).


JDH’s last letter demolishes woolly alpine plant theory.

Correlation of apetalous flowers and cold climate.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Moor Park
Source of text
DAR 114: 196
Physical description
ALS 5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2088,” accessed on 25 June 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6