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Letter 2946

Darwin, C. R. to Oliver, Daniel

12 [Oct 1860]

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    Requests DO apply carbonate of ammonia to sensitive hair of Dionaea and measure reaction time. Wants to compare Drosera and Dionaea.


15 Marine Parade | Eastbourne


My dear Sir

The Drosera & leaves of Dionæa. arrived quite safe. I am very much interested by them.—   Pray give my best thanks to Sir William, & accept them yourself.—

I am very busy & get my constant enemy headach; so will not write any more, but I have got a good deal to say first day I can.

Will you try one easy experiment.—   Drop on sensitive hair of Dionæa one drop gently of pure water; & get solution of Carbonate of Ammonia 6 six gr. to 2 two oz of distilled water, & drop this & see if it immediately or within hour or two causes movement. This will not injure leaf.—   Perhaps safer to get 4 gr to 2 oz water    Also one drop of the C. of Ammonia on disc of leaf.—   I want so much to know whether movement analogous of Dionæa & Drosera.—

Yours very truly | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2946.f1
    This and the following letter are dated by the relationship to the letter to Daniel Oliver, 14 October [1860].
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    f2 2946.f2
    William Jackson Hooker had agreed to sending CD a living specimen of Drosera spathulata and some detached leaves of Dionaea. See letter to Daniel Oliver, [10 October 1860]. There is a note dated 12 October 1860 (headed `Dionæa from Kew') in DAR 54: 2--3.
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    f3 2946.f3
    Oliver wrote on the letter: `(ordered 2 grs. to 1oz pure in disd. water)'.
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    f4 2946.f4
    CD had hoped to obtain a living specimen of Dionaea so that he could conduct his own comparative experiments (see letter to Daniel Oliver, [29 September 1860]).
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