RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1855. Longevity of seeds. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 52 (29 December): 854.
REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed, corrected and edited by John van Wyhe 2002-8. textual corrections by Sue Asscher 12.2006. RN3
Longevity of Seeds.—As you have lately published such full and interesting details on the case of the long entombed Raspberry seeds,1 you may like to hear that a somewhat similar instance has been observed on the Continent. Gærtner (Versuche über die Bastarderzeugung, s. 157)2 states on the authority of Jouannot that seeds from the graves of ancient Gauls, of the date of the introduction of Christianity (probably at the time of Clodowig in the third or fourth century A.D.) germinated and produced Heliotropium vulgare, Centaurea cyanus, and Trifolium minimum. Gærtner gives, as reference, Froriep Notizen, B. XLIII., No. 946, p. 348.3 It seems that no known botanist looked to the correctness of these names. C. Darwin.
1 Gardeners' Chronicle, no. 45, 10 November 1855, pp. 739-40. See Correspondence vol. 5, pp. 532-3.
2 Gärtner 1849, pp. 157-8.
3 Robert Friedrich Froriep (1804-1861), German physician and anatomist who edited Notizen aus dem Gebiete der Natur- und Heilkunde, no. 946, March 1835, p. 346, cited François René Bénit Vatar de Jouannet as the source.
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
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