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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Asa Gray   3 January 1877

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan 3. 1877

My dear Gray,

I have just received your letter of Dec 22nd. It is very good of you to be willing to send me such rare specimens; but I could not in any case think of accepting your offer on the mere chance of making out whether the plants are heterostyled.1 The chance moreover would be very small without better specimens, as with dead plants no evidence I think is sufficient except difference in size of pollen-grains. I have lately given Kew so much trouble that I have vowed I would give no more for some time; but hereafter I will find out whether they can spare me any of the plants in question.2

I am very glad of the notice about the black pigs: my faith in Wyman is so great that I have not been shaken by Wallace, who founds his speculation on a very feeble basis.3

With hearty thanks | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. | Whenever you write again, can you tell me whether Primula Mistassinica, Linum virginianum & Bootii are dimorphic?4

P.S. I fear that Rhamnus lanceolatus will prove only sub-dioious; but if it is truly heterostyled it will a real treasure as explaining structure of R. catharticus.5


Asks AG not to send his rare specimens [of Leucosmia].

Is glad of the notice about black pigs.

Has great faith in Jeffries Wyman;

thinks A. R. Wallace founds his speculation on a feeble basis.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Asa Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (118)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10768,” accessed on 6 December 2019,