Paris: C. Reinwald, 1878. 8vo. xxxvi, 361,  pp., including errata leaf, plus 20-page publisher’s catalogue advertisements dated January 31, 1878. FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH. Woodcut illustrations and tables in text. Original cloth; an excellent copy, uncut and unopened. Item #15656
First edition in French of the author’s important work on the adaptation of plants. In these investigations, Darwin crosses a “long styled” individual with another long styled flower to produce a comparatively infertile primrose, illustrating a degree of sterility within the limits of a single species comparable to that produced in the crossing of distinct species. Darwin’s work on heterostyled plants bears on one of the most difficult points in the statement of the case for evolution, the sterility of interspecific crosses and of hybrids. Darwin writes that the time involved in this research gave him more pleasure than almost any other. Freeman, 1296.