skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Bentham   10 May [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

May 10th

My dear Mr. Bentham

I have received the 2 papers, reported on them to the best of my ability & returned them to the Soc.y2

And now I want to trouble you on a little point, which I would not do if Hooker3 was at home. You will remember some years ago considerable interest about a strange monstrous form of Begonia frigida.—4 Fritz Müller has found wild (& this seems to me rather remarkable) an analogous monstrous form, as you will see in enclosed letter.5 Will you read it, & be so kind as to determine whether it is worth communicating to Linn. Soc.—6 I am unable to form any opinion on subject— As Hooker wd. probably like to have plants, will you be so good, when next you go to Kew, to hand the attached seeds to Oliver or some one.— They ought to be labelled “Begonia from S. Brazil producing monstrous flower like that of B. frigida: Fritz Muller.”—7

Pray forgive me for asking this favour & believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

If Letter of no use be so kind as to return it.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from George Bentham, 10 May 1869.
Joseph Dalton Hooker.
See Variation 1: 365–6.
Müller’s letter was read at a meeting of the Linnean Society on 3 June 1869, and appeared in the Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 11 (1871): 472–4.
CD refers to Daniel Oliver. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Inwards book, 1869, p. 147, No. 142, records the receipt of ‘Seeds of Begonia spe. semperflorens / with monstrous flowers’ from Müller via CD.


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


Sends a letter (and seeds) from Fritz Müller about a strange monstrous form of Begonia found wild in Brazil. Asks GB whether it is worth communicating to Linnean Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Bentham
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham Correspondence, Vol. 3, Daintree–Dyer, 1830–1884, GEB/1/3: f. 680)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6743,” accessed on 27 January 2021,

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