RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1857. Hybrid Dianths. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 10 (7 March): 155.
REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed, corrected and edited by John van Wyhe 2002-8, textual corrections by Sue Asscher 12.2006. RN3
Hybrid Dianths.—As you have noticed hybrid Dianths, you may like to hear that the summer before last I fertilised a poor single pale red Carnation with the pollen of a crimson Spanish Pink; and likewise a Spanish Pink with the pollen of the same Carnation. I got seed from both crosses in fair number; namely, 77 seed from two pods of the Spanish Pink, and raised plenty of seedlings. In the eyes of a florist they would be, I presume, quite worthless from their straggling habit; but they were showy, and like most hybrids produced during a long time an extraordinary abundance of flowers. They varied somewhat in colour, but in no other respect; and one variety was of a really beautiful pale crimson. Taken in a mass there was no difference between the reciprocal crosses. Not one plant of either lot set a single seed. One plant came up identical with the Spanish Pink; no doubt owing to a few grains of the pollen of the Spanish Pink not having been removed; for Gærtner has shown that this is sometimes the result when a flower is fertilised with mixed pollen. I may add that Gærtner raised many hybrids between various species of Dianthus.2 C. Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent.
1 In Gardeners' Chronicle, 28 February 1857, p. 132, two hybrid Dianthus plants, believed to have grown from seeds from the same seed-capsule, but which had quite different flowers, were discussed. See Correspondence vol. 6, pp. 349-350.
2 Gärtner 1849.
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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
File last updated 2 July, 2012