RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1842]. Abstract of J. F. Royle, Illustrations of the botany of the Himalayan Mountains, 1839. CUL-DAR71.20-25. Transcribed by Christine Chua, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 12.2020. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. The volume CUL-DAR71 contains Darwin's abstracts of scientific books. Darwin recorded reading and abstracting this work in November 1842 in his 'Books to be read / Books Read' notebook (1838-1851). Text CUL-DAR119.-




Illustrations of the Botany of the Himalayan Mountains by J. Forbes Royle.

Rev. F. Hope [Frederick William Hope] p. L – Anthia 6-guttata, a well-known native of Tropics in stretches far N. of the Himalaya; the specimens, however are mere dwarfs

p. LI several coleoptera identical in Himalaya & Europe & Lepidoptera – (remarks on close affinity of coleoptera / W. Africa & India)

p. Lxiii Ogleby [William Ogilby] – Hedge-hogs & animals allied to Gulu & Mules (northern forms) & several mustalæ, (closely allied & identical with European forms - & a Lagomys

(a genus hitherto only found in Rocky Mountains & N. Africa p. Lxviii) inhabit the Himalaya

p. LXIV the carnivore & carnivora alone of Africa have freely found their way into India, but more of the latter into Africa: accounts for this perhaps by African animals being allowed to cross the deserts, but on the other hand no antelopes of Africa have crossed. –

Thus Felis Leo [Lions], Pardus [Leopard or panther], jubata [cheetah] caracal, chaus [Lynxes] - Hyena virgata, canis aureus [Jackall], all pre-eminently Africa species are found in most parts of India





Royle himself

p. 14 Near the foot of the Himalaya tropical & European forms are found in [illeg] juxtaposition, independently of the European forms on the actual mountains themselves:

(this bears on vegetation during glacial period.)

Most of the vegetation is tropical, but there are species generally only single ones, of Pinus, ulmus, salix Gentiana Campanula Geranium Rosa Rubus Clematis, Viola, Galium

(N.B. Africa may always have remained a hot-house)

p. 17 Triosteum confined to N. America & Him[alaya]; so are Onoseris & Leucomeris belong to S. American genera

p. 18 There are analogues of N. American species & 3 identical species – Chaptalia gossypina in a species of a S. American genus & tribe. / a Melianthus, is found at Kemaon

a genus belonging to C. of Good Hope.

With Europe there are many identical species

p. 19. alludes to a var. of rice, which does not require irrigation; a [constitutional] difference

[in margin:] another [illeg] genera




Royle p. 30

Neelgherries in 11º N. Lat. highest peak 8700 level surrounding ground 8000 – no snow falls

rice does not succeed –

Oranges live, but [each] fruit.

European genera.

Rhododendron, Andromeda Gaultheria, Vaccinium, Ranunculus Thalictrum Clematis Anemone, Adonis Rosa Rubus Fragaria Berberis Geranium Viola Parnassia Lonicera Euonymus Viburnum Salix Salvia Wulfenia Scutellaria Lysismachia Daphne Plantago Lobelia

p. 32. Genera from highest passes in Himalaya Ranunculus Aconitum Geranium Potentilla Epilobium Carduus Senecio Inula Cineraria Cynoglossum Myosotis Primula Pedicularis Salvia Lanium Origanum Polygonum

p. 45 many species allied to them from the Altai Taurus Caucasus many identical with European.




p. 65


"This very natural order has been observed by Botanist not to obey the very general law (of which instances given in other parts of Book) of the same species of aquatic plants being found in the most distant regions, as each particular species seems confined to very limited range.

Elsewhere account for common distribution by temperature & conditions being more uniform for aquatic plants: I doubt. – Which are seeds like?

p. 129. Consider oranges lemons, Limes, Citron, shaddocks a distinct species.

(N.B appear Japan & N. America are much botanically allied)

During glacial period Japan more separated even then now I shd think in [followa] warm period, then wld be fully an allied warm [temperate?] flora





p. 245. Synanthereæ, this great family likes Umbelliferæ numerous in species, which resemble each other so closely, as to have caused same plant to have been referred to diverse genera

[in margin:] Their families fully indicates [ ] be [ ] there had been no extinction

p 254 & 255.

Stylidieæ, Gondenovieœ, Epacrideæ all families characteristic of Australia, have few species wandering over E. India Arch & some even into India.

Other cases have been given of such wanderers (N.B. we must distinguish between a genus local from [creation] (probably commonest case) & local from extinction, as marsupaediæ not extinct in S. America from Insectivora not having got admittance.

p. 255 – Vaccinaceæ – chiefly another form with few species on mountains of Mexico, S. America, Jamaica Sandwich isld. & Celebes!

[6] 6


p. 265

Myrsineæ - Myrsineæ – Asia, America Azores, Cape of G. H. Canaries, China & Japan

p. 269

Apocyneæ, chiefly found in Tropical countries, where many from tress, "but like many other tropical families, they extend in small numbers & in a herbaceous state beyond that strict limits of a tropical climate"

(Lauruneæ, elsewhere given with shrubby form in S. Europe)

p 330 [and] Balanophoreæ in same predicament.

p 300 Labiatœ form so natural an order, that Jussieu said , "the whole might almost be considered one large genus."

p 355 R. Brown says nothing advanced to show all Bananas & forms Musa sapientum.

p 363 Corallorhiza (an orchid) in genus with only three species, one Europe, 2d in N. America & 3d in Himalaya. –

p 367 Orchis containing nearly 50 species in the Old world, has only one in New (O. spectabilis) extending from Canada & Carolina. 



It appears from Royle that the Equisetaceæ, Lycopodiaceæ, Ferns & [Characeæ] all very isolated groups & 3 [illeg] found abundantly in ancient fossil world (ask Hooker)

From endless remarks same chemical characters run though families.

There is good reason to believe that silk-worm is related to trees having caoutchouc.

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