RECORD: Darwin, C. R.  [1839--1844]  Notebook: Questions & experiments. CUL-DAR206.1. Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker. (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, corrections by John van Wyhe 6-7.2009. RN1

NOTE: See the fully annotated transcription of this notebook by David Kohn in Barrett, Paul H., Gautrey, Peter J., Herbert, Sandra, Kohn, David, Smith, Sydney eds. 1987. Charles Darwin's notebooks, 1836-1844 : Geology, transmutation of species, metaphysical enquiries. British Museum (Natural History); Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

[front cover]

Questions & Experiments

[inside front cover]

Gowen, Royle, & Horsfield Sykes p.12
Maer p.13
Questions &c. July. 1842. —
Shrewsbury p.14
Henslow (2d time) p.14 —
Father. And. Smith
Dr Holland p.16
Babington — Gould 10. (a)
J. Gray 17
Yarrell 18
Blyth 19 — Mr Tollett
Zool Soc Gardens 20 & Breeders
Dr Boott
R. Brown p.21
Horticulturists p. 21 — 23
Eyton p.22
Schomburgk — 1
Jordan Smith. p. 1
Sowerby Cuming — p.1
Owen p.17
III Hooker p.17
Mrs Whitby. Newlands Lymington Hants. Habits of different caterpillar races.
— Name of Italian who sold eggs. —


Temporary Question

Where has Duchesne described Atavism alluded to by Dr Holland —
Jordan Smith of Jordan Hill — character of the extinct land-shells of Madeira — analogous or quite distinct from recent ones — I presume some recent not found fossil (perhaps not embedded)
? are there any very common recent ones not embedded? —
Do the Tame Parrots breed amongst the Indians
Do the Savages select their dogs
Sowerby Entomologist
Does individual Shell or insect or group vary more in one country or district than in another? Character of shells of Sandwich group
Sowerby monstrous Cardium, does it remind him of other species
Hooker says the species of Aquilegia vary much in their spurs & Ranunculus in the nectaries. The former best for my experiment on Selection.

1 verso

Experiments. in crossing &c Plants
1 Repeat the French experiment of Carrot
2 also try Primrose & Cowslip in rich soil & propagate from their seed
3. To apply pollen of different genus & then some hours afterwards of nearly related plant & see if first pollen produces any effect, as in case of woodpidgeon & Hen. mentioned by Mr Knight. Vol IV Hort. Transact. —
4 May we no suppose, that certain plants, like Aphides produce impregnated young ones; & that it is in these that male organs (not being always useful), fail —
Really good subject for experiment. — to repeat Spallanzani
Raise only single Plants & only allow few one flower
(5) Dr Fleming. Philosop. of Zoolog, vol 1. p. 427 — says biennial. wall-flowers & scarlet Lychnis can be propagated by cuttings. — Try. — Important as discovering function of seeds —
(6) To hybridise every flower on melon & see whether fruit affected. Mr B. seems to say impregnation caused of some seeds, caused symmetry in cone —
The above Exper. explains apples on side near other tree being affected. — does one branch of Cabbage being mongrelized affect other branches — The French Apple tree with abortive stamens answers first question in negative. —


Questions Regarding Plants

1. Uniformity of hybrid & Mongrel offspring
2. How have late varieties of Peas &c been obtained?
3. Whether the viviparous grasses & onion, produce flowers, like the Oxalis from C. of Good Hope mentioned by Mr Herbert in vol IV. Hort. Transact. —
4.. Are any varieties of Cabbages not attacked in bad years from Caterpillars.
5. Whether Roses impregnate each other, when close planted together: can do Holyoak be raised distinct by seed — Heartease.
6. — Do not species of wild Roses run into each other very much. — Has not some one written on them?.
7. Are the wild Bananas of Otaheite seedless; — are all varieties seedless — if so. how have varieties been formed? —
8. Can any annuals be budded with reference to extension of age of individuals —
9. Do plants in becoming double ever become monooecious — loosing one sex & not other: which generally fails first? — mal
10 Henslow says semi-double flowers are those whose stamens are monstrous, how then are seeds ever raised?
11 Is not non-flowering gorze common in Norway No


Questions regarding Breeding of Animals

If two half bred animals exactly alike. be interbred will offspring be uniform. — Mr Ford
Has M. Sageret written on crossing of Cabbages, quoted by (as if oral) Decandoelle in V. Vol of Hort. Transacts & M. Sageret is referred to with doubt by Herbert
Do forest-trees sport much in nursery gardens?
are the is the ground much manured
In species of close genus do more than three primary colours occur in relation with species — answered by Henslow see notes
In varieties is there any difference in off spring from A. into B. from B. into A. as takes place in mules ass & horse — important.
In crosses does male offspring take after male parent & vice versa
History of Tortoise-shell Cats, as only one sex so coloured = I have grey cat wh was female with tinge pn back of tortoise-shell. —
= Length of intestine in Persian Cat, in Brazilian toothless dog — I. St. Hilaire says length differs in different cats. —
Good observation — examine semen of Hybrid animal, in comparison with
Weigh skeleton of Tame Duck & Wild Duck, & then weigh their wing bones & see if relation is same good, avoids effects of fatness.


Experiment in crossing animals. — &c

(1) To cross some artificial male with old female of old breed & see result. — According to Mr Walker the form of male ought to preponderate; according to Mr Yarrell the latter ought either in first breed or permanently. —
(2) Cross two half-bred animals, which are exactly alike & see result. —
(3) Cross the Esquimaux dog with the hairless Brazilian or Persian animals of different hereditary constitution, to see whether offspring infertile. —
(4) Does the number of pulse, Respiration, period of gestation differ in different breeds of dogs, Cattle, (Indian & Common) &c: length of life.
(5) Does my Father know any case of quick or slow pulse being hereditary.
(6) In the last 1000 years how many generations of man have there been. — on what principles calculated. — in order to guess how many generations in Mammalia, in group effect of crossing. —
(7) Are the Eggs of the Penguin Duck quite similar to those of another Duck. in Pidgeon? — Mr Miller said yes with regard to former

4 verso

(8) Is form of globule of blood in allied species similar. — if not how is it in allied varieties
(9) Cross largest Malay with Bantam — will egg kill Hen Bantam. — Cross common Fowl with Dorking
(10) Statistics of breeding in Zoolog. Gardens — with respect to conditions of animals & their general healthiness — Foxes, Bears Badgers. How few wild animals are propagated, though valuable as show & curiosities! What is price of fox. otter. Badger &c &c &c.
(11) Keep Tumbling pigeons, cross them with other breeds. —
(12) About the blended instincts


Remote Experiments — Plants

Raise seedlings surrounded by various bright colours, any effect? and silk caterpillars
(1) Shake a sleeping mimosa, or half bred mimosa (a) between sensitive & sleeping species, & see whether association can be given
(2) do the stamina of C. Speciosissimus collapse during sleep & do of Berberis — (latter I think certainly not)
(3) Sow seeds & place cuttings or bulbs in several different soils & temperatures & see what the effect will be. — will seedlings vary much more than cuttings &c
(4) Raise annuals or common English plants in Hothouse & see what effect on organs of generation
(5) Place pollen of Red Cabbage mixed with own pollen on flowers of other cabbages & see whether there will result hybrids —
(6) Dust flowers of one branch of Cabbage with pollen of other, count seeds, & see how great a proportion springs up true. — This in fact always takes place in natural Hybrids of Cabbages
(7) Sow daisy seeds of wild cabbage in very rich soil, will plants abort?, does it require successive generations to accustom them to such soil. — Sow weeds in such soil. —
7(a) Experimentise on Primrose seeds — it really is an important case — cross with cowslip pollen. — as these are wild varieties. Is any intermediate form found wild

5 verso

(a) The Leptosiphon densifolium an annual sleeps closes flower on all gloomy days. — The garden Coronella. also sleeps on ditto — Cover them up periodically & see effect —
(8) Carry Bees, powdered with starch & Carmine & experimentise on their returning powers — then carry them in Electrical machine, reversing the poles test by suspending magnet within & see which way they fly. —
(9) I have noticed leaves covered with Honey-dew dusted with pollen of neighbouring grass
Spread sheets of Paper covered with some sticky stuff in flat places & see whether wind, on dry windy day, flower garden on gravel walk will drift many seeds — necessary to answer Wiessenborns doctrine of Equivocal Generation Charlworth p. 377. Have paper ruled in squares to facilitate investigation. Capital in middle of ploughed field on hills. —
10 Shoot tame duck on pond with Duck-weed — coot — waterhen —
examine dog, which has swum — on pools & rivers — every kind of seed must be distributed — Examine scum of pond for seeds. —
11 Soak all kinds of seeds for week in Salt, artificial water. —
12 Plant two races of Cabbages near each other — & enclose one twig of each in bell glass — sow these seeds & see if they will come up true — whilst others are crossed. —
Are Bees guided by smell — or sight. touching Mr Brown theory of insect-like Orchis —
a final cause of beauty of flowers — contrasted by Kirby — with animal reproductive system. —
— cover flower — put artificial flowers — also do with honey —
What is use of Bee Larkspur= =Toad Orchis=
how many flowers in minute do they visit?? good = !!
Examine pollen of double flowers, compared with single & see whether grains flaccid, as Koelreuter describes
Kill Sparrow after feeding on oats, give body to Hawk & sow pellet, ejected. done
Examine pollen of such flowers as do not seed or seed rarely — Magnolias. Azaleas & plants grown under unfavourable circumstances, as Hyacinths in glasses &c &c


Questions concerning Plants

Is the common Fig Dioecious — are its female flowers always barren — if not how does impregnation take place male & female flower in same receptacle
(8) Make duck eat Spawn, eggs of snail, row of fish & kill them in hour or two
My Father made hens cast Holly-seed & they grew
(9) Place Snap-Dragon. (I have seen one monstrous) Fox Glove & such like in very rich soil — As they have little tendency to double; what would be effect —
(10) Try in how many generations, daisy. Fever-fuge Groundsil. gilly flower will break & become double. — There is a double Crows-foot, or Ranunculus. =
(11) Try Nitrate of Soda — Salt. Gypsum. Magnesium Iron Rust Carb. of Ammonia. — Horse Urine &c &c on associated plants, where proportional number appear equal — & see whether proportions will vary, which will show that such proportions not effect of Chance
(12) Take Bag of soil from centre of woods especially if date of wood be known & other odd places & see what plants will spring up which will show how seeds are transported, or how long they remain dormant, if kinds come up, not found in wood. —
but seeds continually dropping in woods, by birds

6 verso

13 Mr Herbert says Crocuses are very difficult to cross — are there races — if so plant them together. & raise, seed. — In letter Mr Herbert says so about Œnothera. —
(14) Examine pollen of those genera of which wild hybrids have been formed.
(15) What is History of Viburnum, or snow-ball-tree, what would result from seeds being sown =
See in Cultivated Plants, as Pentstemon, which have abortive parts, whether such vary. —
Do Bees go to Sweet Peas, important, for if so, as these can be raised true, there is no crossing by Bees. —



(1) Character of alpine Flora of Tierra del Fuego and Entomology of. — most important, as furthest removed possible point. — ? genera in intermediate country
(2) Any known changes in Flora of countries during last century or two. — where agency of man not known. —
(3) How is Iris impregnated; which part of stigma? —
(4) As Papil. flowers appear difficult to cross, are there unusually many species in genera of Leguminosae. — Herbert explains numerous spec. of Cape Heath by facility. Knight takes opposite view.
Gaertner talks of several great & natural Families, as being difficult to cross.
(5) It is most important to ascertain amount of variation in plants raised by Scions, as Elms. &c &c — I have some reason to suspect Elms. & Orchidacaeous plants — no other case. —
(6) Will plant accustomed to rich soil, when placed in very poor flower, but not fruit — do not orchards become unproductive from poorness of soil. — yet crabs probably would grow there
(8) Where parts of fructification lat retrograde into leaves — is this ever effect of want of nutrition. — Horned oranges do? — Yes, my Father lost this character in grt degree from charcoal & good treatment

7 verso [blank]


(8) Do bees frequent Cabbages & Cowcumber's out of doors much — or the minute Orthopt. — important, as we know how readily they cross. —
(9) In the nurseries, when seed of the varieties of Cabbages, peas, beans, as raised, do the Seedsmen select at all from the plants? If not, I am surprised plan such plants do not degenerate, — as the Bees will mingle the infinitesimal varieties which must occur. — ? . is it not these infinitesimal varieties, which counterbalance each other?
(10) Is number of pollen-grains necessary to impregnate ordinary number of seeds known? — Linnaeus has shown that each pistil is connected with separate division of germen ?
(11) Must pollen grain be whole, to impregnate? — I presume only stigma impregnable. —
(12) At Maer Cowcumbers in frames are not artificially impregnated. Abberley says Ants — Enquire
(13) Do any of same species of Willows grow in same situation & flower at same time. Has H. seen group of different species growing

8 verso

White Mullein good plant to sow & try to get other species


near close to each other. — as they are dioecious, if no hybrids were produced by seed, we might feel sure, that pollen of own kind is much more effective than of foreign — Eyton has such a grove of Willows. —
(14) At What distances from males, will female (a) Willows or Yews some poplar's produce. — Bowman female branch
(15) Would Yew fruit without impregnation. —
(16) Any calculation of number of grains of pollen in any one flower
(17) Catch Bees, Butterflies — Syphus — Meligethes & see whether they are dusted with pollen — in what state (whole or broken) is ball of pollen on Bees thighs
(18) Place pin's heads with Bird lime near male yew tree & see whether they catch pollen — Ne In Œnothere bush. —
(19) Theory of mock flowers in Hydrangea
(20) As Hop is dioecious — seedsmen who raise Hop seed — may know something about proportion of plants necessary &c &c

9 verso

(a) Mercurialis — Frog Bit, Valerian — Urtica Dioica Sorrell. Lychnis. Butchers Broom — also, Vinca Examine all these, are they much frequented by Bees or Butterflies or little insect? = or is pollen excessively minute or abundant? do they seed plentifully? Look for isolated females. — Also any plants which are known easily to be crossed & all monocecious plants. —
Hooker says Rafflesia is dioecious & Pollen must be carried by some insect —


(21) (Paris) Are there many instances of single clumps of plants in counties, as of rare green Cotton Plant — How large area clump there? distinguishable from other clumps from other parts? Don says Irish, Scotch & English plants generally distinguishable. — What structure of seeds. —
(22) When Linnaeus says so great percentage of seeds have contrivance for transportal, does he include seeds good to eat. (even Nux Vomica is eaten by a Buceros in East Indies — Asiatic Researches)
923) Talk about Thyme. Horned Oranges. Spallanzani Essay — Figs kinds of flower annually. — Periwinkle, (not asclepiadae. in Lindley)
(24) Do Bees distinguish species, they do not varieties. —
(25) does the yellow white Butterfly deposit eggs in all varieties of Cabbage.
(26) do deer Keepers cross the breed — desirable as in Cattle in Chillingham Park — What Book on varieties &c of deer. Contests of sexes. —


Q. 30) March 1842. Last year before last beans & peas were planted in rows adjoining & seeds gathered. there were planted last year pell mell, without sticks & seeds gathered & these are now to be planted this year
Number of species of Birds in New Zealand, plants so few —
Range of mundane genera, in Birds in accordance with range of species? —
Are there any fine doubtful species from Van Diemen's Land? or New Zealand?
Babington about differences of Irish & British Species & British & distant parts of Europe. —
Gould — go over the Pigeons, Philotis, Dacelo. Alcyone, where there are very close species & see whether they come from islds or different parts or same v district. —
About endemic & wandering species of confined genera
By my theory in volcanic or rising isld there ought to be a good many races or doubtful species; how is this at Canarys Arch — it is so at Galapagos. —
Ireland, doubtful species —
Does any genus of Plants, vary & hard to separate specifically in one country & not in other: Rosa is hard in Europe, Walnut in America. — Heaths in Africa. ? Hooker are these genera less difficult, in other countries, where species are either numerous or even where few are they constant: this very important for it wd show that such variation is not a generic or specific character, but contingent on country. — How is it in Patella or Oysters or Helix. Or does any one species of plant, vary in one region of Europe & less in another region —


(27) Which sex in Mules generally fails — perhaps indexed by secondary characters — in double flower, do
Henslow speaking of Thyme doubts about stigma in similar manner ever failing. — answered by Gaertner
(28) Can any annual, or Biennial be grafted or cuttings taken or tuber — talk about Mr Knights theory with Henslow. — Dr Fleming says yes.
(29) Are there races of Lupine, Stocks Clover to experimentize on by sowing near each other & see whether cross can be obtained. I name these three plants, because they cannot be crossed, I think, I expect, except by very minute insects. —
(30) Get Abberley to plant single Peas, Kidney Bean & Bean, intertwined, without sticks — in reference to what Mr Herbert observe on this subject —
(31) Ask Henslow for list of annuals to place in Hot house to see effect on generative organs of great Heat
(32) Can Henslow ask question of Col. Le Couteur about Wheat — change of Soil — crossing when seeds raised. — His Book. —

11 verso

32. Would wheat from Aegypt ripen in Scotland? — to show acclimatisation. —
July 1842
When nettle leaf, put into spirits, poison-drop exudes — does not elm. does it in melon — Loasa Anchusa Campanula &c & dead-nettle. —
Lithospernum. Blue Gloss
it is not possible to see orifice of poison-tube — so put carmine in spirits & then experimentise: for gradation in structure
Compare flowers of wild & tame carrot — Parsley & Fennel.
Compare flower of different Cabbages most carefully to see if variation equal in flower with leaves. — strawberries
How soon early do characters of races of different vegetables & animals come on. — Compare calves ∴ Compare young, beans, cabbages. —
History of Pheasant-fowl. Hen coloured like cock-pheasant: said not to sit on own eggs
Flowers in short turf, for abortion, or for sterility
Land Birds Madeira migratory — ask Gould about N. Zealand, as Cuculus lucidus is. — Ask Sulivan about Falklands Isds — Snipe migratory — probably united by Land to S. America


(33) Ornithologum commonly but improperly called Canadense — would it grow in open air in Sweden. Linnaeus found 2 flowers, which had anthers removed, did not become impregnated.
(34) Any recent information about pollen of Subularia

Royle & Horsfield
(35) Talk about races of Banana & yet seedless — no light Henslow or Royle. Latter says seedless — Also about Sugar-Cane Edwards says does not seed — Bruce says does
In Royle's Productive Resources Book no information
Royle & Hope about Silk worms. Varieties effects of domestication — said to require Selection
(36) Ask Mr Gowen to ask Mr Herbert, how many generations any hybrid has been reproduced itself. —
Ask Gray to ask Mr Riley to experimentise on hybridising ferns, tying them back to back
37 Col. Sykes fertility of men & Europasian animals in India? — (about Chetah & other tame animals not breeding when tame in India? — does not know About Yaks. & other Hybrids — Dogs &c &c
38 Does only male yak cross with cow: is not reverse possible??

12 verso [blank]



(1) Yew Trees near Boat House any male branch. — ? number of seeds in beginning of November 1841. — Trees above male?
(2) Result of Edwards experiment in Cabbages given
(3) — in Heartease
(4) Does the Thyme bear abortive stamens every year & Spring. & within garden. # Yes
(5) Examine the Parnassia whose stamens move one after other to flower (& Menyanthes whose pollen bursts before flower is open. No)
(6) There is apple with branch in middle of tree with flowers near end of orchard. = At Shrewsbury one branch of Rhod. flowered later. — effect of accident??
(7) Which Rhododendrum seeds?? —
Bladder-nut # Laburnum # Dodecatheon #
Castrate apple & pear to see if pollen naturally carried, on account of Van Mons views — Also peas

13 verso

N.B. I think very likely the Peas to cross ought to be placed far from all other Peas, from Wiegman



(1) Peas. — Beans seeds alone remain to be compared — Cabbages. kept true — Try experiment (30/p.11)
(2) Yew Berries germinate? — Yew trees sexes —
(3) Get Holyhoaks. races planted & Linum Perenne. — Herbert's. fact. —
(4) Effects of Nitrate of Soda under Beech. — Lychnis dioica answers this question —
(5) Open more Horned oranges. —
(6) Figs, flower. — Passion Flower, (as it is required to impregnate it artificially.) — Asclepias — Flowers not seeding — Put pot of boiled earth on top of House Aristolochia, plant wh require insects to impregnate it
(7) History of Potato field=
(8) Abortive Thyme seeds weather wet — ? Linum flavum put in Spirits which plant seeds?
(9) Melons fruit itself hybridised
(10) one had no seeds, 8c two had plenty of seed & these Seeds of unimpregnated Cowcumbers will they seed.? —
(11) Abberley has planted seeds of pale green Cynoglossum. never germinated
(12) Does the horned orange. wh never has seeds produced good pollen? Yes From cultivation lost their horns is impregnation necessary to fruit — ; become well shaped by care
13 Arum before pollen is shed can you find flys dusted with pollen from other flowers? Can flys' escape from old flower —
(14) Has planted seeds of Geranium pyrenaicum. small white-flowered var. with abortive stamens. — show crossing & ? heredetary?
(15) Abberley has a hooked Pea. — intends to breed from it and large Asparagus: result? — failed to germinate
16 Will plant some of the Thyme with abortive stamens by Terrace to see, whether stamens will be produced in individual plants
17 A dead-nettle in Hot-house, will it seed? —
[marginal] (Skim through Penny Cyclopaedia)

14 verso

Abberley says that some Bees are smaller & more vicious. Will try to get me some to look at: — Was once offered a hive of these small Bees — at Sundorne has large Bees
July /42/
Mark has six days puppy of small true Bull-Dog — length from nose over head
to root of tail 28 1/2. inches. From sole of foot to shoulder on line of back, height 17 1/2. — The Greyhound, was in length (measured same way) 47 1/2 — in heigt 30 inches
Examine Keel of Common & Wild Duck — Black Duck & Penguin


Henslow &c

(36) Has not H. raised races of white & Blue Linum — did parent plants grow near each other. — ? Cannot remember at all.
(37) Any cases of plants, which will not produce seed in this country — where cause not apparent — Any where pollen is not produced or small in quantity — Any unproductive, where germen does not swell, although there be pollen. — or few or bad seeds formed; badness may be merely not ripening —
(38) Have Dioecious plants any secondary, sexual characters. — Stature, position of flowers — their smell — form of flowers — Nectaries — In Monooecious order flower occupy particular position. —
(39) What does he think of Dr Flemings statement of Sweet Williams & Stocks, being propagated many years, by cuttings. —
(40) Ask Henslow to distribute some of my questions amongst agriculturists, whom he know. — Col. le Couteur on Wheat. —
(41) Have any monooecious or dioecious plants the Papilionaceous structure of flower — Ground nuts
(42) How are Orchidia? fecundated, as mass of pollen is requisite. — Brown's paper

15 verso

43 Any flowers of Keeling Dioecious, or Monooecious, besides the Nettle.
at Galapagos — Dioecious. — Carex. — We may presume Nettle spreads by seeds
(44) Zostera. Has he seen it in flower? Does he know Botanist who Does — What is Ruppia Bennett says in same state of flower
45. Charlsworth. vol II. p. 670 — oats cut down turning into Rye. —
46). Book describing amount of Horticultural Variation? Henslow knows only on Citrons
47. Ficus carica Henslow presumes females produce. Polygam. tricecia. (are female flowers ever productive) Smith says many trees in Tropics are of this class. —
(48) Where published list of spontaneous Hybrids — to see whether any Papilionaceous plants, — whether many mono or Dicoeious plants, & any with peculiarities of structure rendering cross impregnation difficult or reverse
(49) List of seeds Gaertner de fruct: — for woodcut — double hook Geum, Galium Burrh — single hook, curved spines — simple spines — or seed-cases with similar structure. — good case as showing how simple, but beautiful adaptation might be arrived at. — Any book with drawing of Seed. Anemone with tuft — Bull Rush — Dandelion — Sycamore. & seeds with mere border — & Humboldts spinning seed. —
(50) Any cases of wild varieties plants growing together, under same conditions. — like cowslip & primrose, but less strongly marked. —
51. Plant seeds of the Fuller's plants. Teazle


Dr Holland ; My Father. Andrew Smith
(1) Are cross-births, or other accidents of delivery inheritable.? — Bell cd ask Accouchers
[marginal] Is any peculiarity in milk teeth inheritable!!! very good
[marginal] Any peculiarity in the males of a family —
Where one tooth aborts, do you know whether any trace in germ.
(2) Any more cases of diseases, generally occurring in man being transmitted through females, like Hydrocele — Dr H. thinks asthma in females takes place of gout. — How are livers? obscure organ, no answer
(3) Andrew Smith, about tamed wild animals breeding at the Cape. — # About two vars: of Lion: Annales des Sciences #
(4) Prolifickness of female, relation to healthiness? & father — answered
(5) About cross-bred races of men taking after sex. A Smith.
Andrew Smith. About species of Rhinoceros, becoming rare beyond limits of the metropolis of each — Cause? —
(6) What size book Gallesio storia del Reproduzione. — D. Holland
(7) Is Haemorragic tendency independent of heredetary cases, more common in man than in female —
(8) In Hump-back ever heredetary
(9) Are the works of Borhave (treating of heredetary diseases) translated.
(10) About Daltonism in the male Troughtons. — Paper in Taylors Scientific Memoirs
(11) And. Smith Savages at Cape any selection of Males in cattle or in Killing the worst = or in dogs =
(12) Do Hottentots generally resemble each other very closely, more closely than Caffres. —
13 Where are there any medical Statisics, proportion of diseases (heredetary?) in cliff, countries in same races


Mr Gray General Questions

(1) Particulars about Sierra Leone, cow taking bulls. is it Domesticated African Animal = Knows nothing. ask
It is very important to know, whether Gould's observation holds good, that in the mundane genera, the species are have wide range — How is this in Plants??
Owen. Are abortive organs as young teeth, more plain in young Rhinoceros or Whale, than in old?? Falconer says all in cases.
[marginal] Have talked partially with him
Ask him to introduce me to some Human Anatomist.
do. Has he dissected any animal often, which has abortive bone.
ask more about the lowest cervical vertebrae process developed into ribs.
& does its abortion vary, according to Bentham's Remark.
Horse or cow. — degree of soldering of tibia & fibula: in Man any abortive bones???
[marginal] Wing in Apteryx. no
do. as Os Coccygis — Turbinated bones? False ribs. Wings of Apterix: clavicle in — ?
Combs in combless Poultry — Teeth in foetal state:
Mr Horner. On Mr Tremenheres Scottish Colliers, when men & women have long worked, whether children, who have not worked have any peculiar configuration. —
Meta Metaphysics of Morphology. — Schelgel, is he serpent man? about zones separated by non-inhabited spaces: has he published? does he understand English. — Miguel to collect facts for me — what? What does Blume say on alpine Flora of Java?
Has Schow written on double creations & where? How are current & winds in Antarctic ocean: are they from West, like as between Australia & S. America?
Sabine says North of Siberia, no sea-current, icebergs travel by wind.
Aug. St. Hilaire Bot. p. 787. position of embryo in close species of Hilianthemum differs greatly — how very interesting to see if any variation in varieties. G. St. Hilaires law of Balancement


Wm Yarrell

(1) About non-breeding of animals in confinement, curious. — foxes — English animals. (Made no import. remark)
(2) Secondary male characters. — does male transmit to male more of his features — in negro & white
(3) About the Bantams at Zoolog Soc. — did Sir. J. Sebright select to destroy secondary character believe no or did result appear without his wish
[marginal] Has since recrossed this breed. — Have secondary male characters appeared. —
(4) Does he know any seed-raisers
(5) List of qualities in birds & animals for prizes. — Pidgeons. Canary birds — Bantams. —
(6) Mad Porto Santo Rabbit. Descript. of colour & length of ears & skeleton, & skin —
Van Voorst often writes to Lowe
(7) In breeding, pointers. Bull-Dogs. Spaniels — Grey-hounds — is there ever any degeneration??
Hounds. Eyton Mr Wynne, &c Could by selection a different looking animal be formed — not caring whether good or bad. — are any actually rejected??
(8) Get Sir. R. Heron to give me Pigs foot undivided, & more particulars regarding effects of crossing them with common pigs — (it is a Lincolnshire Breed) — Sir. R. H. supposes is now extinct —
(9) About. American & Europaean common species, having somewhat of different appearance. — (will introduce it in work)
Whether Yar knows whether Shaws hybrids between Trout & Salmon were fertile & whether homogeneous
About German ornithologists, Bhem & Glöger
Consul Hunt, birds from Azores or Madeira


Mr Blyth

(1) Mentions some breeder who raises many English birds — will young wild ones breed as well those already bred in cages.
Get direction write to
(2) Does he believe. Stanley's fact of Hawks distributing live Mamals
(3) Do most Hawks eat stomach of finches — do they throw up pellets —
(4) About hybrid pheasants treading — any treadee? — Difference in lambs of different herds
Is there any difference in breeds of Cattle & sheep in the sprouting of the horns, at different periods in different breeds — ?? or in individual case: subject to disease in youth. —
Mr Tollett — about selection for milking — loss of early habits in Dorsetshire sheep — migration of coots — variation in hounds =
An ugly calf turns sometimes turns into fine beast, would its offspring have ugly calves, also turning into fine beasts. —
For comparison with hybrids, is offspring of short-horn bull & hereford cow similar to reverse cross. —
Sow cast-up-balls of Hawks or even owls. —
How long do seeds remain in stomach of birds — Mem: how many miles they fly in few hours


Zoological Soc

(1) Do the animals there sometimes couple but not conceive: Bears /yes/
(2) Foxes & English animals & birds breed
(3) In cases where Lions have bred, have they been raised from young ones, bred in captivity — Mr Miller says Wombwells were
(4) About fertility of ass-zebra-horse —
(5) About callosities on Camels-horses. &c &c Rhinoceros —
(6) Cross. Sus Barlyroussa with tame. —
(7) About fertility of Bantams from different countries =
Do the Peacocks cross. — Young Chinese or Penguin Duck in very young state for skeleton —
Does the tumbling of pigeons vary in manner & perfection &c &c &c — if so probably a variety, not specific character —
Cross Rumpless fowls & Dorking fowls, — or tailless dogs & fox, to see whether the characters are then intermediate or sometimes all on one side, as in crossing varieties
Amongst varieties cross one with abortive tail or horn, with another & see result, for comparison with natural species, as dioecious plants when crossed


R. Brown — will pollen act on any flower before stigmas expanded — in reference to Lobelia & Clarkia — Peas time of impregnation. —
says many flowers are dichogamous
Zostera — Knights notion of pollen & stigma generally not being mature at same time on same plant — Flora of Australian Mountains. — I could extract nothing from him
Is setting of fruit, cross Conception
Does impregnation ever regularly take place in unopened flower — doubt disbelieve this in Bauers case of orchidia
Where does J. Hunter use expression of "male principle of arrangement." — would not male or female "constructive principle" be better, or "constructive action on germ" —?? answered
Does Mormodes (one of the Catasetums) really always hit stigma by projecting pollen-masses? —
Has Ophrys nectary? = Bunbury says no hollow spur. — Ask about Pinks & Solanum impregnation before flower open. An. des Sc.
Where is Boerhaave's paper on impregnation of violets. = Zostera = Are dwarf plants on Wellington Mountain described in Flinders = Alpine Australia Flora = Banana's seedless — 20 varieties in mountains of Tahiti.
Dr Boott — says caricas from every isld differs — do they also differ in different countries — on flora of African Islds
names of Plants found on mountains of N. America similar to Lapland Plants — will get answer.
Is pollen of cultivated Orchis & Asclepias & — carnosa? — good —
Norfolk Isd — geology, volcanic? Applies to my geology & Species theory — peculiar Fauna?. Australian Alps — ; are any Europaean forms found diere —
Lindley says that only one pineaple



(1) Are sterile hybrids healthy: number of generations: about crossing of plants, especially Papilionaceous order
(2) History of fruit trees far north in Scotland — do they flower — do they live healthily, or does fruit merely not ripen. — The point to attend to is whether good & plenty of pollen is produced. & 2d if so, whether concepcion takes place, — the mere fact of seeds ripening has scarcely any no relation to hybrids. —
(3) As peaches sport into Nectarines (does reverse happen?) what is effect of crossing peaches & nectarines: same question with regard to Primroses.
(4) do apples "sport" in fruit, or time of leafing
(5) Do the most cultivated show Heartease produce as large capsules of seed, as the commoner kinds —
cattle are horned, Suffolk have abortive no horns by abortion, but sometimes have dangling ones. — Is there any genus of plants in which some organ is absent by abortion, but appears in abortive state either in the species, or in the individual by chance & under domestication. —
N.B. Benthams remarks, where parts of flower are reduced from normal number, they are apt to vary in number in individuals of same species —



(1 ) Number of eggs of half-bred geese — inter se, & with parents & of Chinese geese.
(2) Anatomy of muscles of stumps of tailess dogs & cats. —
(3) Hounds — lazing —
(4) about blended instincts of the geese which he crossed; especially if the hybrids were recrossed with either parent. —
May. 44
These Hybrids differ in colour of beak, taking after male & female parent. — Will they grow up in other respects different? Important. —
Oct. 44
Tell J. Anderson's statement of English Horses having fewer vertebrae in tail, than Continental horses.
— About the leaping of Irish Horses, bred in this country.
Chinese Dog's Head to send
Cover common Pea (& Sweet Pea) for several generations under net & see if get sterile — Cover that little Ervum in Sand-walk, on which I think I have never seen Bee visit.


Experiments in Garden

Sow stones of Standard Apricot grafted on what, & see what comes up. —

23 verso [blank]


Cover patch of ground, with different salts & poisons & see in what order plants would reappear after th being killed

24 verso [blank]


Experiments not connected with Species Theory

(1 ) Will an extract of peat do to preserve fungi or animal substances — (Athenaeum (40) p. 823 chemical analysis of Peat
(2) Athenaeum 1840 p. 777. decaying wood absorbs oxygen & forms Carbonic Acid, will this bear on Petrifaction?

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Questions & Experiments

[The later manuscripts in DAR206.1 microfilmed following this notebook have not yet been transcribed.]

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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