skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Price   24 April 1869

38 Watergate St Chester

Ap 24. 1869

My dear Darwin/

It is not seeds that I have ever tried to grow, but twigs of willow & perhaps poplar with 1 or 2 buds on.1 I am now trying birch (Betula nana probably)2 which look very lively. But I never suceeded with any thing but a gramineous plant (Cyperus?)3 of which the Ptarmigan had extracted the very core, almost like a bulb. They shot up 112 inch & I (sicut mens est meus)4 forgot to water them. This incapacitates me from any experiments, or I should have done something in that line, by this time(?)   I have had to give up little half-hour jobs, after trying to remember them for 30 years or more, in vain. You result-mongers must take the will for the deed.

The disappt to me is a sore trial, you may suppose. If I were rich, I shd. keep a Curate, in that sense

I may send you a few sketches of my Drake with this; & some Card. pratensis for the Babbies 5 (alas! thorough bred Saxons).

Fra. Parkers are very near neighbours, & good friends6

Your’s very truly | J. Price

CD annotations

1.5 This … friends 4.1] crossed ink
Top of letter: ‘(Distribution)’ blue crayon


No letter to Price from CD on this subject has been found.
Betula nana is the dwarf, shrub, or bog birch.
Cyperus is a genus of sedge commonly called nut-grass.
Sicut mens est meus: such is my mind (Latin).
The sketches have not been found. Price refers to Cardamine pratensis, the cuckoo flower.
Price refers to CD’s nephew Frank Parker and his family.


Has experimented with some success in growing twigs with buds

and a grass plant from which a ptarmigan had extracted the core.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Price
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 205.2 (Letters): 248
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6712,” accessed on 19 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17