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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Alexander Wooler   5 May 1863

Sadberge Hall | Darlington

5th May 1863

Dear Sir

The enclosed may interest you— They are from seed saved in 1860 from a cowslip and only from pips which I impregnated with the pollen of the polyanthus   they were sown late in 1861 and have remained in the seed pans—in which the seed was sown undisturbed   have been much neglected or otherwise no doubt they would have flowed larger— The ticket of the memo of the seed having been crossed remains in the pan they are growing in— These four are all that have flowed as yet— I should say there are about other 4 not yet flowered— Having been sowed late in 1861 did not bloom in 18621

In haste yours very truly | W Wooler

C Darwin Esq | Bromley | Kent


The experimental crosses that produced these seedlings are described in the letter from W. A. Wooler, 5 July 1862 (Correspondence vol. 10). CD presented Wooler with a copy of ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix III) after corresponding with him on polyanthuses (see ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula, p. 79 (Collected papers 2: 47); the correspondence has not been found). CD may also have corresponded with Wooler regarding the crossing experiments between polyanthus and the common cowslip (Primula veris) that he was undertaking at the end of April 1862 (DAR 157a: 76–7). The results were published in ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria, p. 187 (Collected papers 2: 121).


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

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

‘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.]


Encloses plants derived from a cowslip–polyanthus cross.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Alexander Wooler
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 158
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4141,” accessed on 22 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11