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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Friedrich Hildebrand   23 May 1873

Freiburg i/B

May 23d | 1873.

Dear and honoured Sir,

I am very sorry that the wanted information I can give you about certain of my experiments will not be of much worth for you. On Primula I have not made any observations on the matter you asked me about, and my observations on the fertilisation of Corydalis cava had the result, that the flowers, when selffertilized, gave no seed at all, and after fertilization with flowers of the same Individual only a very few seeds.1 The experiments on Hypecoum grandiflorum (Pringsh. Jahrb. VII p 465) had the following result:

number of seeds in each fruit after selffertilization

0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 2.   28

number of seeds in each fruit after fert with other flowers of the same individual:

0, 0, 0, 2   1002

Eschscholtzia californica (Pringsh. Jarb. VII p 467) number of seeds after selffertilization:

4, 17, 9, 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 5, 11, 9, 0, 1, 0, 2, 12, 9, 7, 10, 27   66

n. of s. after fert. with other flowers of the same ind.

2, 7, 0, 22, 9, 26, 25, 2, 7, 10, 7, 3, 3, 1—1003

This is all I can tell you about the matter, you see that it is very little.

During winter I had made ready for printing a little work: Ùber den Verbreitungsmittel der Pflanzen”, but the strike of the printers at Leipzig made it impossible to get it printed, but I think now, that it will be published after some months.4 When I send you a copy, you will find therein something more about the cultivated Cereals and other similar things, that will be perhaps of some interest for you.5

Now excuse me, honoured Sir, for not answering your last letter before, and believe me | yours’ | respectfully | Hildebrand

CD annotations

2.1 Eschscholtzia … 66 2.3] ‘4 1 7 9 4 5 1 1 9 1 2 1 2 9 7 1 0 2 7 14) 1 2 7 0 0 (90.7 1 2 6 1 0 0 9 8 2

ie. 9.1 per cent more flower set but this percentage of flowers that did set’ ink

2.4 n.... 100 2.5] ‘2 7 2 2 9 2 6 2 5 2 7 1 0 7 3 3 1 13) 1 2 4 0 0 (95.3 1 1 7 7 0 6 5 5 0 3 9 1 1

ie. 9.5 per cent’ ink

4.1 During … believe me 5.2] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘See about Oxalis rosea’6pencil

Footnotes

In Cross and self fertilisation, p. 331, CD reported Hildebrand’s observation that Hypecoum grandiflorum was highly self-sterile, citing Hildebrand 1870, p. 464. Hypecoum grandiflorum is now H. imberbe (sicklefruit hypecoum). Both Corydalis cava and H. grandiflorum were in the family Fumariaceae (fumitory). Pringsheim Jahrbuch: Jahrbuch für wissenschaftliche Botanik.
In Cross and self fertilisation, p. 332, CD stated that his observations on Eschscholzia californica showed the plant to be less self-fertile in England than Hildebrand had found it to be in Germany (see Hildebrand 1870, p. 467).
CD received a copy of Die Verbreitungsmittel der Pflanzen (The means of propagation of plants; Hildebrand 1873) in November (letter to Friedrich Hildebrand, 16 November [1873]). The Leipzig printers’ strike lasted from mid-March to late April 1873 (see Frederick Engels, ‘News on the international labour movement’, International Herald, 22 March and 26 April 1873).
See letter to Friedrich Hildebrand, 15 May 1873 and n. 2. In Variation 2d ed. 1: 330, when discussing the retention of aboriginal characters in cereals, CD drew on Hildebrand’s comparison between what happened when plants were chosen for fruit or seeds and what happened when they were chosen for other aspects (Hildebrand 1873, p. 129).
In Variation 2d ed. 2: 113, CD referred to Hildebrand’s fertilisation experiments on Oxalis rosea, citing Hildebrand 1866a, p. 373.

Summary

Sends results of his observations of cross- and self-fertilisation of Hypecoum grandiflorum and Eschscholzia californica [see Cross and self-fertilisation, pp. 331–2].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8920
From
Friedrich Hermann Gustav (Friedrich) Hildebrand
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Freiburg
Source of text
DAR 76: B179–80
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8920,” accessed on 17 July 2019, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8920

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21

letter