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Darwin Correspondence Project

To C. G. Ehrenberg   25 March [1846]

Down Bromley Kent

March 25th

Dear & highly Honoured Sir

I received your kind letter two days ago, & beg to thank you sincerely for the information contained in it.—1 Herewith I send a copy of my little paper on the Atlantic Dust,2 (published in the Geolog. Journal) & which I would have sent ere this, had I supposed you would have cared to see it.—

I have asked the Hydrographer to the Admiralty (Capt. Beaufort) to call the attention of Officers to the dust & to collect specimens of it.

I have no specimens myself of grasses from Ascension, but I have written to Dr. Hooker & I well know he will proud to send you specimens if he has them: I doubt, however, whether he has yet named his grasses.

Sometime ago I sent you some specimens (through the Chev. Bunsen3 ) of rocks of the Secondary period from the Cordillera; shd you have examined them I shd esteem it a great favour to know the result.—

I regret much to hear of the long illness in your family: being a married man myself, I can appreciate your distress.

Pray believe me, dear Sir, with much respect. | Yours faithfully & obliged | C. Darwin

P.S. | I have received the Ascension plants from Dr. J. D. Hooker for you.—4 I enclose his note, as you might like to see the scanty list of really indigenous Phaneragam: plants.— You will observe there is only one certainly indigenous grass, or at most two.— Many plants have been of late introduced there.—



March 30. 1846.

Dear Darwin

Accompanying are a few wretched scraps for Ehrenberg, which I fear will not prove as productive as the “Hallowed Mud” of the Antarctic. What does he want with them?

It was so late today before I could find the bundle of Ascension Ind things that I had not daylight to examine all the Grasses properly. That is of less consequence as only one is truly indigenous, & that correctly named. I have solitary specimens of 2 more grasses undoubtedly introduced, & a 3d the Polypogon tenue, is also probably a depauperated state of an introduced plant my only specimen is however glued down & I had but one specimen. The only truly indigenous flowering plants of the Island are


x Aristida Ascensionis sic

Mariscus umbellatus. QQQQ.

x — appendiculatus

? Polypogon tenue

Cyperus Haspan


x Euphorbia origanoides

Hedyotis Adscensionis

Of these, 4 I consider peculiarQQQQ & one (not well examined) doubtfully so.

I have about 30 or 40 other flowering plants but all certainly introduced, I can give him any if he wants them. I hope they will arrive in time, my things have got into dreadful confusi〈on〉 during my prolonged absences from home.

On Wednesday I commence my new

CD annotations

1.1 Accompanying … them? 1.00] them?


Collected papers 1: 199–203.
Christian Karl Josias von Bunsen.
Presumably CD kept this letter open until he received the specimens from Joseph Dalton Hooker, sometime after 25 March (see letter from Hooker, [25 March 1846]). The specimens were sent to Ehrenberg by 10 April, see letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 April [1846].


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.


Sends copy [of "Fine dust in the Atlantic Ocean", Collected papers 1: 199–202]. Attempting to obtain further samples for CGE.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 965,” accessed on 19 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3