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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Asa Gray   22 December 1876

Herbarium of Harvard University, | Botanic Garden, Cambridge, Mass.

Dec. 22 1876

My Dear Darwin

I have now yours of the 4th.1 There is nothing I would not send you if I had it. But what scanty material we had in Wilkes’ Expedition collection has been distributed since I did the descriptions—to Washington, Kew, Paris, & to our herb. here, that I have nothing fit to send;2

As to the Leucosmia Burnettiana Benth.” Dais disperma Forst.) I have left for my share only 2 flowers, detached, from difft. plants—in a dilapidated state. One has the style exserted out of the throat of corolla to nearly the length of the lobes, while the tips of the taller anthers, or say half the anther, is seen in the throat. The other, which is partially laid open, answers to Bentham’s figure—which you can refer to—the higher stamens inserted in the throat, elevating the anthers, as you will see, to a height little below the tip of the lobes of corolla. The anthers in my flower are effete.3

I will risk these two flowers if you say so. But if what I say does not tell the story, probably better materials may be found at Kew.4 Also a better specimen than mine of Harvey’s5 collecting. Mine is the longer stamened—but I note that the style brings the stigma up to the throat.

Of my Leucosmia acuminata I have equally a pair of corollas both of which had detached—so the style is not present.— one with 4 exserted stamens; the other with anthers all in or below the orifice. These are in a fragile state

Of my L. pubiflora,6 again I have only separated flowers—all of which have been soaked & opened, all with higher stamens exserted

The substance of what I have in herb of U.S. expd, is printed in Seeman’s Journal of Botany, iii (1865,) pp. 305,306.7

Enclosed are long-styled & short-styled flowers of Rhamnus lanceolata which are figd. in Gen. Fl. t. 168. In this case I suppose there is a tendency toward dioicism.8 Of other outlying orders I think only Polemoniaceæ.

Sending a flower or two would be of no use. Send to Hooker for the cover of Gilia, § Leptosiphon, and see what you can make of it. Get seed also—at the shops—and cultivate.9

You have time to look to it, and can find out what it amounts to—

Your sheets of X Fert. all come— thanks (& to your son Francis for his pamphlet) I shall notice in Sill. Amer. Jour Sci.— Perhaps in Nature later, after I get Orchids & your other papers.10

Heartiest good wishes for the New Year from Mrs. Gray11 & myself to you & yours | Ever Yours | A. Gray

CD annotations

7.1 Enclosed … 168. 7.2] crossed ink
8.1 Sending … yours 11.1] crossed ink

CD note:

American Journal of Science 1865 p. 101 Leucosmia [underl pencil] & [interl pencil] dimorphic Asa Gray says Clei〈s〉tog〈amic〉 [blue crayon, circled blue crayon]


Discusses some dimorphic plants.

Sends specimens of Rhamnus but his few specimens of Leucosmia are very poor.

Letter details

Letter no.
Asa Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Herbarium of Harvard
Source of text
DAR 110: B36–7, B74–5
Physical description
4pp †, CD note

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10731,” accessed on 20 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24