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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [24 July 1862]1


Thursday night

My dear William

Lenny is going on capitally.2 He took a little tea & powdered meat this evening! His poor dear little face is something like itself again.

Any time that you can send me a few valerian flowers & of Erythræa, I shd. like to look at them.—3 But if the cases hold good you shall draw up a little account, which I will look over, & send it to the Linnean Socy.

I don’t quite understand your scale of measurement of pistil in Valerian: you speak of it as 34 &c & yet it projects beyond the corolla, if I understand rightly.—4

The Erythræa almost seems a more curious case: is there any difference in nectary or in secretion of nectar or position of flowers in the two forms?5

Good Night— I am tired.— | C. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter from W. E. Darwin, 14 July 1862, and to the letter to W. E. Darwin, [after 14 July 1862], and by reference to a postscript, written in pencil, in Emma Darwin’s hand: ‘Enquire a little about quiet sea places near Southampton   I expect G & F will come to you at the end of next week’. George Howard Darwin and Francis stayed with William in Southampton from 2 August (see letter from G. H. Darwin, [after 5 August 1862] and n. 3). The letter was written on a Thursday; 24 July was the Thursday prior to the week ending 2 August 1862.
Leonard Darwin was recovering from scarlet fever (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); see also letter to Asa Gray, 23[–4] July [1862], letters to W. E. Darwin, 4 [July 1862], 9 July [1862], and [after 14 July 1862], and letter to Asa Gray, 14 July [1862]).
See letter from W. E. Darwin, 14 July 1862. There is a series of observations and drawings of the parts of Erythraea centaurium, made in July, in William’s botanical notebook (DAR 117: 16–31).


Discusses dimorphic plants, valerian and Erythraea. Would like to look at them; suggests WED draw up a paper on them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 101
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3632,” accessed on 2 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10