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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [after 14 April – 5 May 1864]1

In my flowers of Pulmonaria,2 in the short-styled, the style is thick & the stigma is bilobed as if two stigmas were confluent,— in the long-styled style is thinner & stigma not bilobed.—3 Can this difference be general??!!.—4

C. D.


The date range is established by CD’s annotation ‘Shape of Stigma’ on the back of the cover of the letter from W. E. Darwin, 14 April [1864], and by William’s drawing of stigmas in his memorandum of 6 May 1864.
At some time, CD received seedlings of Pulmonaria angustifolia that William had collected from the Isle of Wight (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to W. E. Darwin, [25 July 1863] and n. 3); in Forms of flowers, pp. 104 and 107, CD mentioned seedlings that he raised from Isle of Wight plants, and a note dated 6 May 1864 in DAR 110: A51 begins, ‘Pulmonaria I. of Wight in kitchen garden’.
CD also made this observation regarding style thickness in a note dated 6 May 1864 in DAR 110: A51, but, on the reverse side, CD recorded in a note dated 14 May that he now found that the thickness of style was ‘very variable’. In the note in DAR 110: A51, it was also written: ‘Stigma sometimes bi-lobed & sometimes not in long-styled [above del ‘both forms’]’; in Forms of flowers, p. 106, CD wrote: ‘The stigma varies in being more or less, though slightly, lobed.’
For William’s initial reply regarding stigma shape, see his memorandum of 6 May 1864; see also letter from W. E. Darwin, 12 May [1864] and n. 7.


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

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


Describes difference between Pulmonaria flowers; wishes to know whether it is general.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 97: 9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4822,” accessed on 15 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12