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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Isaac Anderson-Henry   16 May 1863

Hay Lodge, | Trinity, | Edinburgh.

May 16/63

My dear Sir

I hasten to say in reply to your welcome note1 that the Sprig of Linum with bloom enclosed, is of all others I tried last Summer the most intractable of its race—the L. luteum Corymbiflorum. You are quite correct about its being dimorphic.2 You have yours ahead of mine, which tho’ in my Greenhouse, is only coming into bloom buds. It is a pity they won’t all flower together. L. flavum with me will be over ere I have one to try with him, unless I get pollen off your L. luteum.3

Very faithfully yours | Is. Anderson Henry

I have just come in from emasculating among the rubus.4 I saw at Dr Grevilles this day week what he told me was the old haut bois strawberry—5 There seems to be a touch of the raspberry in its aspect—which may induce me to try a union there— I have several odd XX among strawberries to be tested this Summer—6 [illeg]

CD annotations

1.1 I hasten … race 1.2] crossed ink
1.2 the L. Luteum … dimorphic. 1.3] enclosed in square brackets, ink
1.3 You have … him, 1.6] crossed blue crayon
1.6 unless … luteum.] ‘Have stigmas rotated in Fig?’ pencil


The letter to Anderson-Henry has not been found.
CD classified Linum corymbiferum as heterostyled in Forms of flowers, p. 100.
Anderson-Henry had offered to make crossing experiments with Linum in his letter to CD of 17 January 1863. CD hoped that Anderson-Henry’s work would throw further light on the fertility of dimorphic species of Linum, and he sent a copy of ‘Two forms in species of Linum in April 1863 to assist him (see letters from Isaac Anderson-Henry, 17 January 1863 and 24 April 1863, letter to Isaac Anderson-Henry, 20 January [1863], and Appendix IV).
Emasculation involves the removal of the anthers of a flower to prevent either self-pollination or the pollination of surrounding plants (Penguin dictionary of botany). See also n. 6, below.
Robert Kaye Greville, a botanist and entomologist, was honorary secretary of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh (R. Desmond 1994, DNB, Medical directory 1863).
Anderson-Henry had been attempting to hybridise raspberries and blackberries, and raspberries and strawberries (see letters from Isaac Anderson-Henry, 17 January 1863, 26–7 January 1863, and 7 May 1863 and n. 9).


Desmond, Ray. 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish botanists and horticulturists including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. New edition, revised with the assistance of Christine Ellwood. London: Taylor & Francis and the Natural History Museum. Bristol, Pa.: Taylor & Francis.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

Medical directory: The London medical directory … every physician, surgeon, and general practitioner resident in London. London: C. Mitchell. 1845. The London and provincial medical directory. London: John Churchill. 1848–60. The London & provincial medical directory, inclusive of the medical directory for Scotland, and the medical directory for Ireland, and general medical register. London: John Churchill. 1861–9. The medical directory … including the London and provincial medical directory, the medical directory for Scotland, the medical directory for Ireland. London: J. & A. Churchill. 1870–1905.

Penguin dictionary of botany: The Penguin dictionary of botany. Edited by Elizabeth Tootill et al. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books. 1984.

‘Two forms in species of Linum’: On the existence of two forms, and on their reciprocal sexual relation, in several species of the genus Linum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 5 February 1863.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 7 (1864): 69–83. [Collected papers 2: 93–105.]


Sends sprig of Linum luteum corymbiflorum [?]. CD is right about its being dimorphic.

Will try some odd strawberry crosses this summer.

Letter details

Letter no.
Isaac Anderson/Isaac Anderson Henry
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 110: 24
Physical description
2pp inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4168,” accessed on 5 March 2021,

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