From Charles Darwin to William Kemp   [8 September 1843]

Down. Bromley, | Kent

My dear Sir

The seeds you sent me from the sand-pit & which I forwarded to Prof: Lindley, have germinated & turn out to be Rumex acetosella and an Atriplex, which Lindley does not know.— He does not think it can be a variety of A. patula. He has sent specimens to Prof. Henslow who writes to me that he is carefully examining it— He does not recognise it as a British Plant, but thinks it may perhaps turn out to be A. hastata, a French species.— He seems to have doubted whether it might not be a monstrous variety of A. patula.— If you have any specimens in flower, wd it not be worth your while to send him some by Post in a fresh condition; it wd. I daresay aid his investigations.— His direction is Prof. Henslow

Hitcham Rectory



If you send any, you must write with them, else he will not know, from whom they come.—

This is really a very curious case, & when the Botanists have made up their minds about the plant, you will I hope publish an account of it, with a careful account of the Quarry.— It is a pity, that some of the earth & rubbish, in which the seeds were found, was not preserved, perhaps minute seeds in it might have germinated.—

I did not write some months ago to say that R. Brown wd not offer any opinion on the seeds; the specimens, which I sent him, were too imperfect.—

Believe me | Very truly yours | C. Darwin

Please cite as “KEMP25,” in Ɛpsilon: The William Kemp Collection accessed on 30 November 2023,