To Leonard Jenyns   22 August 1849


22 August 1849

My dear Leonard,

I left your books in Cambridge last week on my way thro' and was about to let you know the fact – Melittis melissophyllum is the only species of Melittis, of which grandiflora is a variety, but this is not your plant, which is not a British plant.

Melissa officinalis of Bab. is the common Balm of the gardens, bears a whitish flower. Your plant is (as I stated) Melissa grandiflora found in various parts of Europe. You will find it described in Bentham's Labiata p. 395. I find that plate 12 of the Tom. 9 3d series is wanting in my copy. I have just had the set bound as far as Tom. 8, and not having collated carefully further I had not observed the ommission. Your plant is Portulaca oleracea, Garden Purslane. Tho' you have not observed the Corolla, I think you will find 5 small petals in fine sunny weather. The 1 st No. of Dr. Hooker's Journal is out, but Sir W. publishes the letter in his London J. of Botany first and then collects them into Nos. as he gets matter e.g. I think Reeve is the publisher. If not it will be Bailliere. I am truly sorry for the cause which presses so heavily on your time and purse – and sincerely trust you will not be obliged to put yourself to the great inconvenience which you contemplate as possible. I am sorry you cannot meet with a Curate to your mind. I fear I shall not get to Birmingham, partly from the difficulty of getting my Sunday duty performed for me, and partly because I have a good deal of work on my hands. I have just been dissecting some pistils of Elschotzia 1/100 inch in diam. and find Lindley's theory of their structure untenable – one of those quasi-ingenious guesses which sometimes retard us by putting us on a wrong scent. I am about to forward the result to Sir. W. H's Journal.

Kind love to yr Wife and

Ever yrs affectionately

J S Henslow

Please cite as “HENSLOW-250,” in Ɛpsilon: The Correspondence of John Stevens Henslow accessed on 27 October 2021,