skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. J. Weir   7 July 1875

6 Haddo Villas | Blackheath SE

7 July 1875

My Dear Sir

I fortunately found my Brother1 in Town last evening.—

He tells me that there has been no case of a composite or hybrid raceme in the Laburnum grafted with Cytisus purpureus, it seems also an interesting fact that the purple blooms have not produced seed, he thinks none at all, whilst on the other hand the yellow racemes have produced seed, these the gardener has sown and some strong plants have been reared.—2

There are also some curious cases in his garden of Cratægus oxyacanthus grafted with pink double varieties, producing each year some branches which bear white blooms, this may be a sport or the effect of the stock.—3

Since I wrote about the variegation of green ivies by being pla〈  〉 on a wall near the variegated variety, Hedera helix aurea robusta, I have had several more cases of other varieties of ivies being stained with yellow by propinquity with the variety above stated.—4

Believe me | My Dear Sir | Yours very truly | J Jenner Weir

C Darwin Esqr

CD annotations

1.1 I … evening.—] crossed ink
3.1 There … stated.— 4.4] crossed ink


Harrison William Weir.
On CD’s interest in the grafted laburnum, see the letter to J. J. Weir, 5 July 1875 and n. 2.
Crataegus oxyacantha is a synonym of Crataegus monogyna (common or single-seeded hawthorn; Christensen 1992). It has single white flowers. CD discussed a similar grafted hawthorn in Variation 1: 377.
See Correspondence vol. 18, letter from J. J. Weir, 27 June 1870. Hedera helix is the common or English ivy.


Christensen, Knud I. 1992. Revision of Crataegus section Crataegus and nothosection Crataeguineae (Rosaceae–Maloideae) in the Old World. Vol. 35 of Systematic botany monographs. Laramie, Wyo.: American Society of Plant Taxonomists.

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.


Yellow and purple flowers occur on plant grafted with Cytisus purpureus, but only on separate racemes. Only yellow blooms seed.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Jenner Weir
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 86
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10050,” accessed on 26 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23