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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. J. Berkeley   [26 November 1840]

is the Fagus oblique.— So that we have probably two species, & closely allied species of Fungus, growing on two species of Fagus, at the distance of 1000(?) miles.—1 The Fungus of Tierra del Fuego grow on the Fagus Antarcticus.—2 Bertero says the natives of Chile call the Fungus “dignénes”.— Bertero’s [paper] or rather posthumous list of plants is in Silliman’s N. Am. Journal Vol. 23 p. 78.— I should be much obliged if at some future time, you would have the kindness to return me the rough papers.—3

I have the pleasure of remaining | Your’s truly obliged | Charles Darwin


The letter refers to two species of fungus, one discovered in Tierra del Fuego by CD (Journal of researches, pp. 298–9) and the other in Chile by Carlo Bertero (Bertero 1831–3). Berkeley (1845) describes CD’s specimens of both species.
CD corrects this statement in his letter to M. J. Berkeley, [March 1841].
CD refers to the field notes he made during the voyage. Berkeley quoted extensively from them. On the cover of the letter, in Berkeley’s hand, is ‘984. Two large ones smooth half-grown | 821. Orifices burst | 529 little ones | 528. Possibly another species’. The note may refer to CD’s catalogue of plant specimens (see D. M. Porter 1981).


Bertero, Carlo Giuseppe. 1831–3. List of the plants of Chile; translated from the ‘Mercurio Chileno,’ by W. S. W. Ruschenberger. American Journal of Science and Arts 19 (1831): 63–70, 299–311; 20 (1831): 248–60; 23 (1833): 78–96, 250–71.

Porter, Duncan M. 1981. Darwin’s missing notebooks come to light. Nature 291: 13.


Remarks that each of two species of Fagus separated by 1000 miles has a fungus that grows on it; the fungus species are probably closely allied.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Miles Joseph Berkeley
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
NO—26 1840
Source of text
Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/39)
Physical description
ALS 1p inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 583,” accessed on 24 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2