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Darwin Correspondence Project

To F. T. Buckland   29 February [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Feb. 29th

My dear Sir

Many thanks for your kind note & various pieces of information.— I will write to Mr Bush about the Rats.—2 In relation to the fecundation of ova, you may perhaps like to hear that I tried with much care on rather large scale the effect of very little pollen & an immense supply—& there was no difference in the number or weight of the seed, or in their germination.— With all plants more than one grain, generally 10–40 are requisite for fertilisation.—3 I return the enclosed, which I have been glad to see, but it must, I shd. think, be charlantanry.—4

I already possess a pamphlet entitled “La Loi de Production des Sexes, par M. Thury”.—5

With many thanks, My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from F. T. Buckland, 27 February 1868.
CD refers to experiments performed with Ipomoea purpurea. See Correspondence vol. 15, letter to J. D. Hooker, 17 March [1867] and n. 7, and Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 24–5.
The item Buckland sent has not been identified.
See letter from F. T. Buckland, 27 February 1868 and n. 4. CD refers to Thury 1863; his copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


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

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

Thury, Marc Antoine. 1863. Mémoire sur la loi de production des sexes chez les plantes les animaux et l’homme. 2d edition. Geneva and Paris: Joël Cherbuliez.


CD sends thanks for information; he will write to Mr Bush.

In relation to the fecundation of ova CD adds that he has compared the use of very little pollen against an immense supply; found no difference in number or weight of seeds or in their germination.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Trevelyan (Frank) Buckland
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5956,” accessed on 29 November 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16