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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   [2 November 1862]1

1 Carlton T.


My Dear Father.

I counted a pod this morning as carefully as possible by tens sweeping away the tens each time. it is rather a job.2 in a little bit of paper enclosed I send a sample of the seeds I counted, though with some misgivings whether I ought not to omit them3

tell me whether you consider them sterile or not. Any worse than those I did not count. I am afraid you’ll have a job to open the paper

Your affect son | WE Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. E. Darwin, 4 [November 1862] (Correspondence vol. 10); 2 November was the preceding Sunday.
CD had asked William to count the number of seeds in the pods of the three different forms of Lythrum salicaria; he warned him that it would be tedious work (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter to W. E. Darwin, 30 [October 1862] and n. 13).
On 2 November 1862, William recorded in his Botanical notebook (DAR 117: 50) that he had counted the seeds in one pod of the long-styled form, excluding ‘those evidently void or those shrivelled on the convex side’.


Counted seeds by tens. Sends some.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
1 Carlton Terrace [Southampton]
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 10)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3362F,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)