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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [28 April 1866]

6. Queen Anne St


My dear Hooker

I have had a baddish day & the higher powers have settled that I am not fit for Kew & I believe they, i.e. she is, right, so I must give up my great treat.1

I want a Book very much, which is not in Royal or Linn: & I went for it to B. Mus. but my strength failed, when there.—2 It is “Annales de la Soc. Hort. de Paris Tom. VII. 1830”.3 Can you lend it me & send by Post, to Down.

When poor Oliver can stand being bothered please ask him for reference for microscopical appearance & structure of a bud, when it can first be discerned.4 This account must not be in German. & must be in Book, which I can borrow from Linn. Soc.—

I have been so well most days since being in London, like what I was 7 or 8 years ago— one day I paid 3 calls! & then went for 34 to Zoolog. Garden!!!!!!!!!5

My dear old friend | C. D.—

Victoria Lily & Euryale ferox


This means a memorandum about crossing.—6

We return on Monday morning or perhaps Tuesday7


CD refers to Emma Darwin; he had planned to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on 29 April (see letter to W. R. Grove, [26 April 1866]).
CD refers to the Royal Society of London, the Linnean Society, and the British Museum.
CD refers to the Annales de le Société d’Horticulture de Paris. Volume 7 contained an account of Cytisus adami (Prévost 1830) that is cited in Variation 1: 390. For CD’s interest in C. adami (now +Laburnocytisus adamii), see the letter to Asa Gray, 16 April [1866] and n. 14, and the letter to Thomas Rivers, 27 April [1866].
Daniel Oliver’s daughter had died early in April (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [6 April 1866]).
CD was in London from 21 April to 1 May 1866 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). He refers to the gardens of the Zoological Society of London in Regent’s Park.
CD wished to test Robert Caspary’s claim that the giant waterlily of the Amazon, Victoria regia (synonym Euryale amazonica, now Victoria amazonica), and the related species, Euryale ferox, were perpetually self-fertilised, contrary to CD’s view that occasional cross-pollination was necessary (see Caspary 1865b, pp. 19–20, and letter from Robert Caspary, 25 February 1866 and n. 13). CD discussed pollination and the setting of seed in E. amazonica and E. ferox in Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 358, 365.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), the Darwins returned home on Tuesday 1 May.


Cross and self fertilisation: The effects of cross and self fertilisation in the vegetable kingdom. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1876.

Prévost. 1830. Note sur un Cytise nouveau. Annales de la Société d’Horticulture de Paris, et Journal Spécial de l’Etat et des Proges du Jardinage 7: 93–6.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Needs Annales de la Société d’horticulture de Paris 7 (1830).

Asks that Oliver provide a reference for microscopical appearance and structure of a bud.

Was very well on first part of London visit.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
DAR 115: 287
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5071,” accessed on 1 June 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14