RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1877. Growth under difficulties. Gardeners' Chronicle 8 (29 December): 805.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, text prepared and edited by John van Wyhe 2003-8, 2022, textual corrections by Sue Asscher 4.2007. RN6

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here. The editors of Correspondence vol. 25, p. 514 give the following notes to this item:

1 The date range is established by the content of the letter and by the relationship between this letter and the letter from M. T. Masters, [13 December 1877].
2 When Masters published this part of CD's letter in his article 'Growth under difficulties' (Gardeners' Chronicle, 29 December 1877, pp. 805–6), he added the species name of the specimen in the text of the letter (ibid., p. 805). CD had evidently asked for the specimen to be identified (see letters from M. T. Masters, [before 13 December 1877] and [13 December 1877]). Cotyledon is a genus in the family Crassulaceae; Echeveriawas considered to be a subgenus. Echeveria stolonifera is the name CD used when referring to this species in Movement in plants, p. 237.
3 The illustration appeared in Gardeners' Chronicle, 29 December 1877, p. 807, and was made from the specimen that CD sent to Masters. The words '(as may be seen in the figure)' were added by Masters; square brackets were used in Gardeners' Chronicle.

[page] 805



The following communication, with which we have been favoured by Mr. Darwin, affords us another illustration of similar character:—

"The enclosed branch of Cotyledon (Echeveria stolonifera was cut from a plant growing in my greenhouse, and was suspended on August 10 in my study, which is a dry room, and in which a fire burns most of the year. It has sent out two fine flowering stems which, from the position in which the branch was hung, have bent upwards [as may be seen in the figure]. They have now (December 6) begun to flower. You will see that the plant has sent out a number of small roots. I may add that the specimen weighed on September 1 45.46 grammes, on December 6 36.94 grammes, so that its growth has continued in spite of a considerable loss from evaporation. Charles Darwin, Down, Beckenham."1

1 Darwin's letter is set within an article by the editor of the Gardeners' Chronicle, M. T. Masters, which can be seen in the image view.
The bracketed words 'as may be seen in the figure' were added by the editors. See the important notes to this letter in Correspondence vol. 25, p. 514.

[page] 807


[This woodcut was made and inserted by the editor of Gardeners' Chronicle.]

This document has been accessed 12462 times

Return to homepage

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

File last updated 24 August, 2023