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Darwin Correspondence Project

From L. E. Becker   28 December [1866]1

10 Grove st | Ardwick | Manchester

Dec. 28.

My dear Sir

Will you please to accept my hearty thanks for the paper on “Climbing Plants, which you have generously bestowed on me, and for the loan of the others which I will take great care of, and return to you before long—2 You do not name Primula farinosa in your paper3—but will not be surprised to hear that in looking over my dried specimens of this plant, nine in number—I find 5 long styled, and 4 short styled plants. I have taken the liberty of enclosing one of each in proof of my words

and remain | dear Sir | yours sincerely | Lydia E Becker


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from L. E. Becker, 22 December 1866.
Becker had asked CD to send one of his papers for presentation to a ladies’ group (see letter from L. E. Becker, 22 December 1866 and n. 4). In addition to ‘Climbing plants’, CD sent ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula (see n. 3, below) and probably ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from L. E. Becker, 6 February 1867).
In ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula, CD discussed the results of experiments with Primula veris, P. sinensis, and P. auricula. CD later included information on P. farinosa (bird’s eye primrose), based on John Scott’s experiments with the species, in Forms of flowers, pp. 45, 224, 273.


‘Climbing plants’: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 2 February 1865.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 9 (1867): 1–118.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]


Thanks for "Climbing plants" and other papers [as requested in 5316].

Sends specimens of a variety of Primula not mentioned by CD [in Primula paper, Collected papers 2: 45–63?].

Letter details

Letter no.
Lydia Ernestine Becker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 114
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5327,” accessed on 9 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14