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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Emma Gärtner   14 July [1860]

Down Bromley Kent [Hartfield]

July 14th

Dear Madam

I have received & am grateful for your extremely kind letter. After an absence from home of a fortnight I found on my return the memoir of your honoured Father1 (which I have not had time to read yet, as I was obliged to leave home again immediately on account of the illness of one of my children) & the two Engravings.—   I value much that of your Father & the expression of countenance is most intellectual & delightful.—

You generously offer me a collection of your Father’s specimens of Hybrid plants. The offer is a most valuable one; but I do not collect plants, & I am not likely to have time to experimentise much myself, on Hybrid plants.—   If on reflexion you should still think that a collection of these plants would be well bestowed on England, I would suggest your giving them to the Herbarium at the Royal Gardens at Kew near London.2 The Collection is under the care of Sir William Hooker & of Dr. Hooker & is by far the best collection in Britain; indeed I believe one of the very best in the world. I asked Dr. Hooker & he said if presented, the collection would be much valued & taken care of for perpetuity.

Should you think of this, I would advise you to consult some German Botanists, & see whether my account of Kew is not correct.

Pray believe me dear Madam, with much respect & gratitude | Yours very truly obliged | Charles Darwin


See letter to Emma Gärtner, 9 June [1860]. The presentation copy of the memoir of Karl Friedrich von Gärtner (Jäger 1851), inscribed by Emma Gärtner, is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Gärtner’s herbarium was not presented to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Jäger, Gustav. 1851. Zum Andenken an den den 1. Mai 1772 geborenen den 1. September 1850 zu Calw gestorbenen Botaniker Dr Carl Friedrich von Gärtner. Stuttgart.


Thanks for memoir of her father [G. Jäger, Zum Andenken an Dr. C. F. von Gärtner (1851)] and engravings.

Declines gift of CFvG’s collection of hybrid plants. Suggests Kew Herbarium.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Emma Gärtner
Sent from
Hartfield Down letterhead
JY 15 60
Source of text
Department of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas (KU MSS P87: 1)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2866,” accessed on 21 June 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8