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From William Herbert to J. S. Henslow   5 April 1839



Replies to CD’s questions on plant hybridisation and laws of inheritance. Rejects predominant transmission of characters by established forms. Males show predominance, but congeniality of parents’ constitution to climate and soil more important. No correlation between hybridisation and variability, cultivation, and geographical distribution. Rejects reversion.

Describes experiments in Hippeastrum in which pollen from another species proved more fertile than plant’s own pollen.

Did not intend to say that crossing is inimical to fertility.

Author:  William Herbert, dean of Manchester
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  5 Apr 1839
Classmark:  DAR 185: 63
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-503

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  • Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975. Variation : The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …
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