More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2

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Author: Charles Darwin

Letter 635. To J. Scott. Down, 20th [1862?].

What a magnificent capsule, and good Heavens, what a number of seeds! I never before opened pods of larger orchids. It did not signify a few seed being lost, as it would be hopeless to estimate number in comparison with other species. If you sow any, had you not better sow a good many? so I enclose small packet. I have looked at the seeds; I never saw in the British orchids nearly so many empty testae; but this goes for nothing, as unnatural conditions would account for it. I suspect, however, from the variable size and transparency, that a good many of the seeds when dry (and I have put the capsule on my chimney-piece) will shrivel up. So I will wait a month or two till I get the capsule of some large Vandeae for comparison. It is more likely that I have made some dreadful blunder about Acropera than that it should be male yet not a perfect male. May there be some sexual relation between A. Loddigesii and luteola; they seem very close? I should very much like to examine the capsule of the unimpregnated flower of A. Loddigesii. I have got both species from Kew, but whether we shall have skill to flower them I know not. One conjectures that it is imperfect male; I still should incline to think it would produce by seed both sexes. But you are right about Primula (and a very acute thought it was): the long-styled P. sinensis, homomorphically fertilised with own-form pollen, has produced during two successive homomorphic generations only long-styled plants. (635/1. In "Forms of Flowers," Edition II., page 216, a summary of the transmission of forms in the "homomorphic" unions of P. sinensis is given. Darwin afterwards used "illegitimate" for homomorphic, and "legitimate" for "heteromorphic" ("Forms of Flowers," Edition i., page 24).) The short-styled the same, i.e. produced short-styled for two generations with the exception of a single plant. I cannot say about cowslips yet. I should like to hear your case of the Primula: is it certainly propagated by seed?

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Chicago: Charles Darwin, "Letter 635. To J. Scott. Down, 20th [1862?].," More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, ed. Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941 and trans. Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866 in More Letters of Charles Darwin Original Sources, accessed September 18, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZZKWC4PWY34N2G.

MLA: Darwin, Charles. "Letter 635. To J. Scott. Down, 20th [1862?]." More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, edited by Darwin, Francis, Sir, 1848-1925 and Seward, A. C. (Albert Charles), 1863-1941, and translated by Babington, B. G. (Benjamin Guy), 1794-1866, in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, Original Sources. 18 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZZKWC4PWY34N2G.

Harvard: Darwin, C, 'Letter 635. To J. Scott. Down, 20th [1862?].' in More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol. 2, ed. and trans. . cited in , More Letters of Charles Darwin. Original Sources, retrieved 18 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZZKWC4PWY34N2G.