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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Friedrich Hildebrand   18 May 1868


May 18th | 1868

Dear and honoured Sir

Finally I can send you the copies of my notices on the potato-graft-hybrid and on the apples I spoke of in my last letter. You will see that they contain not much more than I wrote you before but I think you will like to have the drawings.1 The two potatoes have produced by this time large bushes in my garden and I am very curious what kind of knolls I shall raise from them. I have tried to repeat the experiment with the same and three other varieties of potatoes, but I fear without success〈. The〉 plants do not look very healthy and very likely will produce only knolls of the implanted variety. When the graft-hybrids make flowers I shall try to fertilize them in different ways, of course I shall intercross their parents too.

I adjoin a copy of a paper on some new Saprolegnieae and Syzygites, and I have pointed out—as I cannot expect you to read my description all over—some passages that perhaps will be of some interest for you.2

From a short review of the second part of your new book I saw that it must contain a great many things of high interest for me and as you had promised so kindly to send me the german translation I was waiting for it every day, but it appears that Mr Schweizerbart has not finished it as yet.3

This spring has been very bad 〈for〉 observation in our country, the winter lasted very long, and then it got warm so suddenly that most of the flowers came out and faded away in a few days, so the notices I have made on some things are not worth mentioning.

Now I must say Good bye and remain | Dear Sir | yours | respectfully | Hildebrand


See letter from Friedrich Hildebrand, 2 January 1868. Hildebrand’s comments on the potato hybrid and the apples were published in Hildebrand 1868; there is an annotated copy in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. The paper was accompanied by a coloured plate illustrating the potato and the apple.
Hildebrand refers to Hildebrand 1867c. No copies have been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL. The Saprolegnieae (now Saprolegniaciae) are a group of zoosporic fungi; Syzygites is a pin-mould genus.
Hildebrand’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for the German translation of Variation (Carus trans. 1868; see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV). The translation was being published by the firm E. Schweizerbart’sche Buchhandlung. Evidently the second volume was issued in parts (see letter from Friedrich Hildebrand, 3 July 1868). Christian Friedrich Schweizerbart had been succeeded by Eduard Friedrich Koch as director of the firm in autumn 1867 (Biographisches Jahrbuch und deutscher Nekrolog 2 (1898): 227).


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

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


Sends graft-hybrid notice.

Letter details

Letter no.
Friedrich Hermann Gustav (Friedrich) Hildebrand
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 208
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6182,” accessed on 19 September 2020,

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