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Letter 12152

Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, Francis

12 July [1879]


Notes observations on sensitivity and movement of radicles.

Has finished chapter [of Movement in plants] on sleeping plants and is now looking over heliotropism notes.

Is perplexed by Erasmus Darwin; Erasmus [A. Darwin] likes it, but Henrietta thinks it much too long.


Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

July 12th

My dear F.

I am glad you have tried touching cells, for I shd. never have rested until hearing a result of some kind. Was the point kept in contact for some little time? It rejoices me that the Phys. (I forget name) has looked at Dipsacus; I have always thought that you ought to go with that subject.— Wd. it worth while to show him aggregated matter in Drosera in movement, ie in early stage of aggregation? I doubt whether you will succeed in Drosera by contact, as gland only sensitive part & seat of movement chiefly at base of filament.

I have tried in peat radicles of Pisum with caustic above & below. There was no difference between the 10 control & 10 touched above in their geotropism; but I hardly looked early enough. But of the 10 touched below, 3 curved in opposition to geotropism—2 or 3 were straight & 5 or 6 geotropic in slight degree; so contest wonderfully great.

I can see it will be impossible to try gold-beaten skin on mustard radicles.

It has pleased me that I think I fully understand cause of “Sachs’ curvature” of radicles— too long to explain by letter.

I have finished long chapter on Sleeping Plants & sent it to Mr Norman to copy & diagrams to Mr Cooper.—

I am now looking over piles of notes on Heliotropism.

By the way I am becoming frightened at changing so well-known a term as Heliotropism & cannot bring myself yet to write “Helism”. or “Proshelism”..

I am more perplexed than ever about life of Dr. D: Hen thinks it very dull, & wants it much shortened & otherwise arranged. Erasmus likes it. Your mother wants parts shortened.— I shall take it on Aug. 1st to Lakes & finish it there.

I am tired— Ever yours | C. Darwin

(What are your plans, if you have any, you degenerate Darwin.)

Abbadabba flourishing & Dumming

DAR 211: 62


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