skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   26 [July 1856]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

Lyell has lent me Westminster Review telling me to forward it to you, which I will do on Monday.2

I sent off few days ago Forbe’s sheets.—3

I said in former letter that the passage in Flora Antarctica about Tristan d’Acunha nearly sufficed for me;4 but on further reflexion I find that it would be very important for me to know, whether there is as much identity of species, or more representative species as compared with Kerguelen Land, in relation both to Fuegia.— I am aware that it is very unlikely that you know the Flora in such detail, for if you had, you would probably have inserted it some of your Books; but I ask for chance.—

Have you alive at Kew, Montia fontana, Limosella aquatica & Callitriche verna; if so, do you not think it would be well worth trying whether the seed-pods or heads would float in salt-water & whether they would survive. I would gladly try.—5 What a wonderful case of distribution these 3 plants are in your Antarctic islds.!— It is a great bore that we have no water plants on the Chalk.— You speak in your Himalaya Journal of the number of plants which you found within arms reach.6 I suppose you did not make list & if you did it would probably be buried in mass of papers; otherwise I shd. have liked to have looked at it, to see whether many species of same genera & genera of same Family.—

I have let 34 sqe feet of old Lawn grow up, & 18 plants in 17 genera have flowered during this summer. Exactly same numbers as in whole Keeling islands, though so many miles in length!—

Ever your’s | C. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 July [1856], in which CD stated that he would like to see pages from Edward Forbes’s unfinished manuscript (see n. 3, below).
The July issue of the Westminster Review included an anonymous article on ‘Hereditary influence, animal and human’ (Westminster Review 66: 135–62). The author was George Henry Lewes (Wellesley index 3: 625).
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 10 July [1856] and n. 7. The reference is to pages eventually published in E. Forbes and Godwin-Austen 1859.
CD had to ask Hooker again for seed-pods of these plants in his letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 September [1856].
Hooker stated in J. D. Hooker 1854, 2: 67, that he gathered forty-three plants ‘without rising from the ground’. In a footnote to this passage, marked in CD’s copy of the work (Darwin Library–CUL), he added that in England only thirty species could be collected in an equivalent space.


Wellesley index: The Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals 1824–1900. Edited by Walter E. Houghton et al. 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1966–89.


Tristan da Cunha flora.

Aquatic plants.

Density and diversity of plants in small plots in Kent, Keeling Islands, and Himalayas.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 175
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1945,” accessed on 25 June 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6