# From Asa Gray 1 June 1857

Cambridge, Mass. U.S.A.

June 1^{st}, 1857

My Dear Darwin

Yours of the 9^{th}. 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 1^{st} & 2^{d} heads—as evidently there are only three of the 1^{st} head and none of the 2^{d}.

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 $\frac{1}{13}$ of our Flora.

18 ’ Cyperaceæ ’ $\frac{1}{10}$ ’

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 $\frac{1}{8}$ — nearly $\frac{1}{10}$.

’ Cyperaceæ $\frac{1}{10}$ — *[* $\frac{1}{60}$ *]*

’ Gramineæ $\frac{1}{13}$ — $\frac{1}{8}$

’ Leguminosæ $\frac{1}{24}$ — $\frac{1}{18}$

’ Rosaceæ $\frac{1}{29}$ — $\frac{1}{52}$. &

’ Orchidaceæ – 0

’ Ranunculaceæ $\frac{1}{43}$ — $\frac{1}{43}$ but ’ Labiatæ $\frac{1}{43}$ — $\frac{1}{11}$!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

*crossed ink*

*crossed ink*

^{s}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*

*added below pencil*

*crossed ink*

*Top of first page*: ‘Trees & disjoined species’

*pencil*; ‘p. 387’

*pencil*

## Footnotes

*c*. 24 May 1857].

## 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 15 April 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2098.xml

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