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Letter 1700

Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D.

15 [June 1855]

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    Thanks for Hedysarum.

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    Pleasure in identifying field plants.




15th My dear Hooker

I just write one line to say that the Hedysarum is come quite safely & thank you for it.—

You cannot imagine what amusement you have given me by naming those 3 grasses: I have just got paper to dry & collect all grasses.— If ever you catch quite a beginner, & want to give him a taste for Botany tell him to make perfect list of some little field or wood. Both Miss Thorley & I agree that it gives a really uncommon interest to the work, having a nice little definite world to work on, instead of the awful abyss & immensity of all British Plants.

Adios.— I was really consummately impudent to express my opinion, “on retrograde step”, & I deserved a good snub, & upon reflexion I am very glad you did not answer me in G. Chronicle.

I have been very much interested with the Florula Juvenalis & I will, I think, send to Godron a copy of G. Chronicle.—

I will next year try the Azores seeds, & will therefore sometime get you to give me reference to list of plants of that archipelago.

Once again farewell | C. D.

I have been watching impregnation of Orchideæ & there is something about the visits of insects which quite puzzles me.— The Fly-Ophrys seems hardly ever to get its pollen masses moved at all, & the germens swell when plant has been covered by Bell glass.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1700.f1
    Dated on the basis of CD's reference to Godron 1853, which he completed reading on 16 June 1855 (see n. 4, below) and on letter from J. D. Hooker, [6–9 June 1855].
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    f2 1700.f2
    See letters to J. D. Hooker, 27 May [1855] and 5 June [1855], and letter from J. D. Hooker, [6–9 June 1855].
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    f3 1700.f3
    See letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 June [1855].
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    f4 1700.f4
    In his letter to the Gardeners' Chronicle, 21 May [1855], CD had commented on Edward Forbes's theory of continental extension as ‘an almost retrograde step in science—it cuts the knot instead of untying it’.
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    f5 1700.f5
    Dominique Alexandre Godron's Florula Juvenalis (Godron 1853) discusses the introduction of plants by means of wool imported at Port Juvenalis, near Montpellier (see LL 2: 60 n.). CD recorded having read the work on 16 June 1855 (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 12). CD's abstract of Godron 1853 is in DAR 71: 82–4.
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