RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1861. Vincas. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 37 (14 September): 831-832.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, OCRed, corrected and edited by John van Wyhe 2003-8, textual corrections by Sue Asscher 1.2007. RN3

[page] 831

Vincas.—A writer in your columns (p. 699) states that he caused Vinca rosea to seed at the Royal Gardens, Kew, by imitating the action of an insect in inserting its proboscis, as I had succeeded with the common Periwinkle.1 By implication it may be pre-

1 [Crocker] 1861. See Correspondence vol. 9, pp. 261-2.

[page] 832

sumed that V. rosea had not previously seeded at Kew. But another writer, "F. A. P." (p. 736), states that his Vincas seed profusely.1 Mr. Horwood, gardener to G. H. Turnbull, Esq., of this place, has just been so kind as to bring me a small plant of Vinca rosea with nine flowers fertilised by the insertion of a horse-hair, and it now bears nine fine pods.2 Mr. Horwood says he has grown many plants for the last eight or nine years, and never before saw a pod. What can be the cause of the difference in the results obtained on the one hand by "F. A. P.", and on the other by the writer from Kew and Mr. Horwood? Will "F. A. P." have the kindness to state, if he sees this notice, whether his plants were in a greenhouse with the windows left open, so that the moths could get access at night?3 Charles Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent.

1 F.A.P. 1861 wrote:

I am surprised at "C. W. C.'s" assertion in your number for July 27, that "Tropical Vincas never produce seed under cultivation if left to themselves," for I find both the white and pink kinds seed most profusely; in proof of this I enclose a small spray with seed pods on it. They sow themselves in the neighbouring pots, but the produce has never been different from the parent plants.

2 John Horwood (1823- c. 1880), was also head gardener for Sir John Lubbock, 1862-1863, and superintended the construction of Darwin's hothouse, 1863. George Henry Turnbull (b. 1819/20 - c. 1870), builder, fruit grower and racehorse owner; resided at the Rookery in Downe.

3 No response has been found.

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