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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [25 October 1862]1

My dear William.—

one word to say that if a Sunday be fine I shd. be very glad if you would test your observation on mid-styled & see what difference is in pods.—2 You might get 12 dozen pods from other plant. Also, if then you could step distance from the old long-styled to nearest other plant & look what form that is.— I shall not publish this year & shall work out whole case very carefully.—3

We are most sincerely sorry about Maude A.—4

In Haste. Your | C. Darwin

Etty came home yesterday very brisk.—5

Poor Mamma is unwell with very feverish cold.—6

Saturday. Down—


The date is established by the relationship to the letters from W. E. Darwin, 21 October [1862] and 28 October 1862; the intervening Saturday was 25 October 1862.
For William’s comments on the seed-pods of Lythrum salicaria see the letter from W. E. Darwin, 23 October [1862]; see also the letter to W. E. Darwin, 30 [October 1862].
William was assisting his father by collecting seed-pods from wild plants of Lythrum salicaria (see the letters from W. E. Darwin 21 October [1862] and 23 October [1862]); however, CD had concluded that he would have to perform a further 126 crosses before he could publish his results (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 27 [October 1862] and n. 11). CD’s paper, ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria, was read before the Linnean Society of London on 16 June 1864; he reported observations based on William’s specimens on page 173 of the published paper (Collected papers 2: 109–10).
Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records that Henrietta Emma Darwin returned to Down House on 22 October 1862, and that on 24 October she was ‘languid in [the] m[ornin]g as before’.
On 25 October 1862, Emma Darwin recorded in her diary (DAR 242) that she took to her bed feeling ‘feverish’ with a ‘bad cold’.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]


Asks WED to make some observations on differences in pods of Lythrum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 106
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3782,” accessed on 22 April 2024,

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