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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   28 October 1862


Oct 28. 1862.

My Dear Father,

I managed to get over on Sunday to the Lythrum, but the floods prevented me examining the clumps as to whether I could distinguish the MS. from the LS. & S.S. Lythrum— But it must be all rubbish. I managed to measure the distance of the first L.S. from other plants. though I think some plants must have been broken down or cut near it.1

One side there was a LP. Lythrum, and a very shabby one, distant 14 yds. And on the same side of it there was a Lythrum, but I could not distinguish what it was, (as the pods were all gone) distant 10 yds. And on the other side there was a middle S. Lythrum distant 9. yds.

I have not seen Mr Atherley yet; he has written to ask me to go over and see him tomorrow, I suppose I shall see poor Mrs Atherley too.2

I should not be surprised if he means to go away for some long time

Your affect son | W E Darwin

CD annotations

1.1 I … rubbish. 1.3] crossed ink
1.4 first LS.] altered tofirst Long Styled’ ink; ‘first sent & imperfectly fertile’3 added ink
2.1 LP.] altered to ‘Long styled [above del ’Pistilled‘]’ ink
2.3 there was … 9. yds. 2.4] ‘& 100 yards from any clump.’4 added ink
3.1 I have … time 4.1] crossed ink


William was assisting his father by making observations on the trimorphic plant, Lythrum salicaria (see letter to W. E. Darwin, [25 October 1862]); he refers to the short-styled, mid-styled, and long-styled forms.
George Atherley was William’s partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank, Southampton. The Atherleys’ daughter, Maud, died in October 1862 (see letter to W. E. Darwin, 30 [October 1862]).


Distances between Lythrum plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 162.1: 94
Physical description
ALS 3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3786,” accessed on 20 June 2024,

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