RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1841-1882]. Abstract of Mill, Newman, Brichan, Watson, Corder in Phytologist vols. 1 and 2. CUL-DAR73.78-81. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe 3.2014. RN1

NOTE: References:

Mill, J. S. 1841. Notes on plants growing in the neighbourhood of Guildford, Surrey. Phytologist 1: 40-41.

[Newman, Edward]. 1841. Proceedings of the Botanical Society of London. Phytologist 1: 95-96.

Brichan, James B. 1842. Note on the British Pyrolae. Phytologist 1: 296.

Watson, Hewett C. 1844. Report on an experiment which bears upon the specific identity of the cowslip and primrose. Phytologist 2: 217-219.

Watson, Hewett C. 1844. On the theory of 'progressive development' applied in explanation of the Origin and Transmutation of species. Phytologist 2: 225-228.

Corder, Thomas. 1845. On the identity of Avena sativa with A. fatua, being the result of observations during a residence of five years in the province of South Australia. Phytologist 2: 337-338.

Anon. 1846. Notice of 'Flora Azorica: founded upon the collections and notes of the two Hochstetters. By Mauritius Seubert. Bonn, 1844.' Phytologist 2: 461-464.

Anon. 1846. Notice of the "London Journal of Botany' Nos. 44 dated August 1845 to No. 50, dated February 1946, inclusive. Phytologist 2: 464-467.

Watson, Hewett C. 1847. Further experiments bearing upon the specific identity of the cowslip and primrose. Phytologist 2: 852-854.

Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


Phytologist Vol I. Pt. I. p. 40. Impatiens fulva a N. American plant excellent example of naturalized plant, which has spread widely in England.

p. 95. Mr. H. C. Watson showed series of specimens graduating between Festuca pratensis & loliacea.

p. 96. do showed do between Cnicus pratenis & Forsteri & remarks "in the absence of the intermediate specimens it wd have appeared very distinct from C. pratensis."

(it is clear fixity of character & absence of intermediate forms is the chief characteristic of species — very slight differences being overlooked from analogy.)

p. 204. several notices unimportant on cowslip & primrose; the only tolerable theory except variation is that the oxlip is a hybrid between primrose & cowslip, but the great variation in the first generation, some going back to parent form is opposed to


this: what is wanted is to see what will come from either primrose & cowslip when planted separate. —

p. 296. Mr Brichan remarks that he thinks the most acute observer cd not distinguish by the leaves three species of Pyrola, viz. P. minor, media, rotundifolia.

1845. Vol. 2

p. 218. H. C. Watson "Report of an experiment on the Cowslip & Primrose." — seed, from Primula vulgaris var. intermedia of London Catalogue; & distributed by Bot. Soc as oxlip No 2. (this shows it is different from common oxlip) gave pure primroses & cowslips & intermediate varieties of these two species. — Herberts were from Red Cowslip, ? oxlip. Henslows seed from cowslips produced remarkably no true cowslips. —

Also at p. 852. remarks that the objection to the hybrid theory is that the seedlings produce not only its own likeness, but exact counterparts of both presumed parents. —

79 verso

The following search terms have been highlighted: oxlip 

p. 853. sowed seeds of cowslip 26 seedlings, as far as can be ascertained all show leaves of cowslip "but the three flowery examples differ considerably in their coralles from the wild cowslip — what are a third or a half-way towards those of the jasmine in size, form & colour — they are intermediate between cowslip & oxlip no. 2 (see above) — these three seedlings resemble each other in their flowers. —


p. 225. H.C. Watson "on the theory of Prog. develop." (I have bought two previous numbers) remarks on the persistence of species as shown by comparing young tree with old ones many centuries old. —

p. 227. "In what respect does an hereditary variety, the origin of which is unknown, differ from a species." —

p. 337. On the identity of Arena sativa with A fatua, by T. Corder — states that in Van Diemens land, it is well known that oats degenerate & every successive year without fresh seeds more A. fatua come up. — The plants seem gradually to assume appearance of A. fatua. "The oat though still white, was somewhat hairy at its extremity & in some cases was awned." Lastly 2/3 after several generations was A. fatua "& the rest in the intermediate stages." —

80 verso

In Iceland & Faroe all identical
Alps, some representative
India most representative. Brazil do. How Abyssinia
Kerhuelen ought to have most in common with America & Auckland & Campbell do —

There must have been more alteration than on alps
Yet older colonised, must have been colonised at very commencement of retreat of glacial period

I fancy these species are endemic


Vol. 2. p. 463 "Notice of Flora Azorica. in round numbers 4/5 of all the species now wild on the Azores are wild in Europe, of which doubtless many introduced, of the remaining 1/5 nearly the whole are peculiar to the Azores & to the Atlantic isld. some have emigrated from Africa & America.

p. 465. Notice of London Journ. of Botany. No. 47. 1845.

Mr Gardner writes that it is curious that whilst th Neelgherries & Mountains of Ceylon have many Europaean forms in common, yet each presents a few which are peculiar to itself: thus the Prunella vulgaris, totus orbis Steudel, Parnassia Wightiana, is an Indian Plant in Steudel, Lysimachia Leschenaultia. Rosa do, 4 species of Viburnum & 2 of Lonicera of the Neelgherries have not been discovered in Ceylon: on other hand, Agronomia Eupatorium, Ranunculus hastatus India do & Viola Walkeri India do found in Ceylon & not in Neelgherris — Each possess an allied but peculiar Dipsacus — (Hence plants not migrated from one to other.) Even allowing some extinction.

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