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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   26 [and 27] March 18671

Royal Gardens Kew

March | 26/67

Dear Darwin

I am quite crazy for seeds of plants, & you never can go wrong in sending me rejectamenta of seeds plants & orchids— the drain on us is terrific & we loose many things through change of hands & various causes affecting too big an establishment. The climbing Lobelia** must be a fine thing— Pray let me have a plant or two if it germinates.— The oxalis seeds will be most acceptable.2

Thanks for the Viola case, but what I understood you to say was, that a boreal violet was found in the Peak. I knew of this one.— it is a Mediterranean form I believe.3

We are very anxious about our Baby,4 which after 3 months thriving was seized with Convulsions last Sunday, which continue every 2 to 3 hours though not so violent as at first. It has no head symptoms, no fever or sickness, & it is attributed to too much vegetable food. It takes it’s food well, & sleeps well meanwhiles.

I do not go to Paris till about 14th. April.5 I am glad to say.

Your Willy6 was here on Sunday looking very well indeed & very agreeable.

Ever yrs aff | J D Hooker.

**No doubt a Siphocampylus (convolvulaceus?) of which there are various scandent species7

Wednesday   no improvement in the Baby.


The date is established by the written date and the postscripts: in 1867, 27 March was a Wednesday.
In his letter to Hooker of 24 [March 1867], CD had reported receiving from Fritz Müller seeds of several plants, including a climbing Lobelia and another kind that grew to ten feet in height (see below, n. 7); he had wondered whether it was worth his offering these and other seeds and plants to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Hooker’s youngest child was Reginald Hawthorn Hooker, who had been born on 12 January 1867.
Hooker previously told CD he was going to Paris at the end of March (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 14 March 1867 and n. 6).
Siphocampylus, like Lobelia, belongs to the subfamily Lobelioideae of the family Campanulaceae (Mabberley 1997).


Mabberley, David J. 1997. The plant-book. A portable dictionary of the vascular plants. 2d edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Will be glad to have seeds of plants and CD’s climbing plant, which he has no doubt is Siphocampylus.

Anxious about his baby [Reginald Hooker].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 154–5
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5461,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15