Responds to JD's letter . Would like to know whether bees extract pollen from within the indusium of Leschenaultia. He suspects they brush over and partly open the indusium while sucking nectar from the flower.
Asks also about malvaceous plant that set seed although its flower never opened.
Has been watching the achenia of the plant sent by JD and, if Hooker agrees, will publish a note on it ["Achenia of Pumilio argyrolepis", Collected papers 2: 36–8].
Down Bromley Kent
I received your extremely interesting letter of Oct 8
Another fact which you mention has interested me particularly, namely the Malvaceous plant setting seed with its flower never opening. I have observed something of this in Drosera rotundifolia & in Chlora perfoliata. Have you observed the Malvaceous plant during more than one year? And are you sure that it has not two periods of flowering (like some Campanulas) at one period opening its flowers & another period not opening them.—
Pray accept my cordial thanks for your very great kindness & believe me | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Charles Darwin
P.S. I have kept back this note for a couple of days just to say that I have
been interested by watching the achenia of the Styloncerus placed on damp paper. The
vesicles which contain the dried mucus seem to me a pretty & curious adaptation;
& the whole object very pretty under the microscope. I will communicate with
- f1 3026.f1Dated by the relationship to the letter from James Drummond, 8 October 1860.
- f2 3026.f2Letter from James Drummond, 8 October 1860.
- f3 3026.f3Drummond sent CD some seeds of Distylis, a genus of Goodeniaceae, in his letter of 8 October 1860.
- f4 3026.f4Drummond also enclosed in his letter of 8 October 1860 seeds of the plant Styloncerus humifusus. The genus is confined to Australia.
- f5 3026.f5CD evidently received an answer from Drummond on this point in a letter that is now missing. In CD's paper on the fertilisation of Leschenaultia formosa, published in the Cottage Gardener, 28 May 1861, p. 151, CD stated that Drummond had seen a bee `cleverly opening the indusium and extracting pollen' (see Collected papers 2: 42--3).
- f6 3026.f6See letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 December .