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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   1 June 1857

Cambridge, Mass. U.S.A.

June 1st, 1857

My Dear Darwin

Yours of the 9th. came last week.

I do not wonder you were somewhat puzzled to make out just the 49 species spoken of in my note p. 387.1 It was a clear mistake my speaking of 6 species of Carex as belonging to 1st & 2d heads—as evidently there are only three of the 1st head and none of the 2d.

I mail you a fresh copy of the article, with the 49 species I must have had in view marked with a — in pencil.—

The 49 or rather 50, species belong to 46 genera,—which is as you would have it.—

I did not know at all that you suspected disjoined species to belong to small genera & small orders, as a general thing.

The monotypic genera of these 50 species are— Brasenia, Hippuris, Cryptotænia, Crantzia, Phryma, Monotropa (in the restricted sense) Anacharis(?) Hemicarpha(?), Zannichellia(?), Camptosorus.

The only good-sized genera are Anemone, Silene (S. Antirrhina is diffused as a weed & by the agency of man?) Cerastium, Potentilla, Plantago, Primula, Veronica, Carex, Poa, Festuca, Adiantum.

My 76 disjoined species belong to 34 families,—and I cannot see that they incline to belong to small families. diag 15 are Gramineæ which form 113 of our Flora.

18 ’ Cyperaceæ ’ 110

The 1 Leguminosa & 1 Composita are as you would like; but that is because these orders are remarkable for their species being of narrow range.

3 are Rosaceæ

2 ’ Scrophulariaceæ (the 1 orchid is to be erased)

3 ’ Ranunculaceæ. &c &c

6 ’ Umbelliferæramme

As to our trees, what proportion have flowers more or less separated. Number the orders on p. 400— 1. Magnoliaceæ, and so on. 2 And append diag p.= polygamous more or less. m = monœcious d = diœcious.

separated flowers 1. Magnoliaceæ 0 2 — 0 3 — 0 4 — 0 5 — 1 p 6 — 8 p. 7 — 2 d 8 — 0 9 — 1 m 10 — 1 p 11 — 2 p. d. 12 0 13 0 14 1-p 15 1 p 16 0 17 — 7 p. d. 18 — 2 p 19 — 8 p. d. 20 — 1 m 21 — 9 m 22 — 21 m. 23 — 5 m. 24 7 d 25 Coniferæ— 18 m. d.ramme

Out of 132 trees, those with separated flowers more or less—are 95.—and for the greater part very decidedly separated.

I must think it by chance—that your introduced plants are in so near the proportion by families that the indigenous species are.3 diag Indigenous Introduced Our Compositæ 18 — nearly 110.

’ Cyperaceæ 110[ 160 ]

’ Gramineæ 11318

’ Leguminosæ 124118

’ Rosaceæ 129152. &

’ Orchidaceæ – 0

’ Ranunculaceæ 143143 but ’ Labiatæ 143111!ramme

I am very glad if my published notes or my jottings are of any use to you.

This is my season of greatest and most distracting occupation. I shall have no article in the July no. of Sill. Journal—nor in the Sept. either, I fear.

I wrote—or rather despatched a letter to you last week——4 Watson’s memoranda will be sent back to you a week or two hence—5

Ever Yours | A. Gray

CD annotations

5.1 I did … thing. 5.2] crossed ink
10.1 As to … so on. 10.2] crossed ink
10.7 1… . 25 10.31] ‘These *nos of [interl] Families apply to A. Grays Paper p. 400’6 added ink; ‘95/132=.72’ added ink, circled ink; ‘17/25 Families’ added ink, circled ink
10.31 m. d.] ‘95’ added below pencil
12.1 I must … A. Gray. 16.1] crossed ink
Top of first page: ‘Trees & disjoined species’ pencil; ‘p. 387’ pencil

Footnotes

See letters to Asa Gray, 1 January [1857] and [after 15 March 1857]. Gray refers to his tabulation of the trees of the northern United States in A. Gray 1856–7, p. 400.
See letter from Asa Gray, [c. 24 May 1857].
See letter to Asa Gray, [after 15 March 1857], in which CD enclosed some notes and a letter from Hewett Cottrell Watson.
A. Gray 1856–7. See n. 2, above.

Bibliography

Gray, Asa. 1856–7. Statistics of the flora of the northern United States. American Journal of Science and Arts 2d ser. 22: 204–32; 23: 62–84, 369–403.

Summary

Comments on species with disjoined ranges; does not feel, despite CD’s expectations, that they tend to belong to small families.

Gives the proportion of U. S. trees in which the sexes are separate [see Natural selection, p. 62].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-2098
From
Asa Gray
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Cambridge, Mass.
Source of text
DAR 8: 47bA
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2098,” accessed on 21 October 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2098.xml

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

letter