skip to content

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).


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 (Henry, Isaac Anderson) 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 19 August 2019,

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