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Letter 10439

Treat, Mary to Darwin, C. R.

3 Apr 1876


Encloses Pinguicula specimens.

Believes she has found a new species of water-lily.


Green Cove Spring, Florida,

Apr. 3, 1876.

Dear Mr. Darwin—

I came to Florida in November last, and have been working on thecarnivorous plants here. With this letter I send you pressedspecimens of the Pinguiculas which I have worked with. I shall soonpublish my observations, and will send them to you in print.f1 I sentyou Harper’s Magazine for February containing my article entitled“Is the Valve of the Utricularia sensitive”?f2

I think I have found two distinct species of Utricularia sinceI came here, one growing in a warm sulphur spring in beautifully clearwater, this species has no antennae, but it is not at all like our U. purpurea, which you have noticed in the article I sent you.f3

But my greatest find has been a new water lily. It is reallyastonishing how it could have escaped the botanists. What have they beendoing to let me come down here and find this beautiful lily? I enclosespecimen of leaf. There are acres of it in extent growing in thebays and coves of the St. John’s river.f4 It is one of the most beautifulplants I ever beheld, and when I first saw it my heart fairly stoodstill. It cannot be a variety of Nymphaea, but a distinct species.The character of the plant is unlike our Nymphæa, and it produceslarge double yellow flowers. I have sent the plant to Dr. Gray,f5 and asked him to give me directions to send it to Dr. Hooker.f6 I sent it toDr. Gray a week ago, but it takes so long for letters and packages to gofrom one end of the Union to the other, that I grow impatient andwrite to you before hearing from him. If you are in communicationwith Dr. Hooker, please tell him about this water lily. I have transplantedit, and know that it will stand pretty rough treatment. It sendsout runners, and even the little plants on the ends of the runnersgrow readily.

I have just met one of your countrymen and his charming wife—Mr. and Mrs. Whitef7 who are traveling in this country. Mr. Whiteis a member of Parliament and has traveled with Dr. Hooker. Mrs. W.is a good botanist, and is drawing and painting our Flora. I accompaniedher in a row boat to this bed of water lilies, and she is to paintit for me.

Dr. Gray thinks that I have also found a distinct species of Amaryllis, it blooms some two months earlier than our A. atamasco, andthe leaves are much longer and broader. It commenced blooming earlyin January and the leaves and flower-scapes are now dying down, andthe bulbs are ripe, whereas our A. atamasco is now in full flower.f8

I remain here until about the 10th of May, when I shall return to to Vineland, N. Jersey. | Most sincerely yours, | Mary Treat,

P.S. As soon as I can press good specimens of the entire plantof the water lily—flowers roots & runners, I will send to you &Dr. Hooker if you desire—

P.S. You will not get a very good idea of the beauty of the leaf ofthe water lily from the pressed specimens, when fresh, it is veryglossy, and finely blotched with red. I enclose some of the larger leaves in the package with the Pinguiculas.f9


DAR 178: 178


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