RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1844. Variegated leaves. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 37 (14 September): 621.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed, corrected and edited by John van Wyhe 2003-8. RN3

[page] 621

Variegated Leaves.—Mr. Groom1 has stated in last Number that the leaves of some of his Pelargoniums have become regularly edged with white in consequence of his having watered the plants with sulphate of ammonia which had been exposed to the air for some time. Last autumn I planted many young Box-trees; and I have for some weeks observed that nearly all the young leaves in most of them are symmetrically tipped with white, giving the young branches a mottled appearance. I counted twelve trees thus affected. The older leaves are rarely tipped, with the exception of two bushes, in which they are regularly tipped, and the younger ones much less so. Mr. Groom states that in his Pelargoniums the older leaves are chiefly affected. The Box-trees are quite healthy, and growing well. I gave to some of them nitrate of soda, but it has made no difference in this variegation. Those growing in deep shade are not tipped, nor are some older trees. These facts may appear trivial; but I think the first appearance, even if not permanent, of any peculiarity which tends to become hereditary (as I fear is the case with the variegated Sycamore) deserves being recorded. — C. Darwin.

1 Possibly Henry Groom, nurseryman in Clapham Rise, London. See his remarks on pelargoniums in Gardeners' Chronicle no. 36 (7 September 1844): 605 and Correspondence vol. 3, p. 62.

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

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