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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [20 May 1868]1


My dear Hooker

The enclosed grass is one of those sent me within the pellets of Locust dung from Natal.2 The case seems to me sufficiently curious to deserve that the name of grass shd be made out. Can you do this for me; but if a troublesome genus, the generic name wd. suffice.3 There is another much bigger kind of grass not yet in flower.—4

Yours affecty | C. Darwin

I suppose you do not care to have the plants for Kew?—


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 21 May [1868].
CD had germinated grass seeds found in pellets of locust dung sent to him by James Philip Mansel Weale, who at the time was at Bedford, Cape Colony (now the Eastern Cape province of the Republic of South Africa). See Correspondence vol. 15, letter from J. P. M. Weale, 7 July 1867, and letters to J. P. M. Weale, 27 August [1867] and 9 December [1867].
A separate reply has not been found, but Hooker wrote at the top of the verso of this letter, ‘Eragrastis capillifolia Nees’ (a misspelling of Eragrostis capillifolia, a synonym of Eragrostis curvula, African love grass).


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


Encloses grass from locust dung sent from Natal. Asks for name of grass.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 68
Physical description
ALS 2pp † (by D. Oliver)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6190,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16