Requests that exotic species of Vinca, which never set seed at Kew, be fertilised by pressing a fine bristle between anthers as a moth would its proboscis.
Asks that Primula farinosa be sent.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
Will you show this note to M
Now will M
My apocynum (or fly-catcher) is coming up; I thought it was as dead as mutton: I have been trying Vinca in preparation for this Plant.—
You once told me that M
I beg & pray you not merely to acknowledge this.
Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin
I am surprised to find Cowslips utterly sterile without aid.— bears on origin of Oxlips.—
- f1 3161.f1Dated by the relationship to the letter to Daniel Oliver, 1 May .
- f2 3161.f2Charles William Crocker was the foreman of the propagating department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Oliver, professor of botany at University College London, worked in the herbarium and served as the librarian at Kew.
- f3 3161.f3CD described this experiment in more detail in his letter to the Gardeners' Chronicle, [before 15 June 1861].
- f4 3161.f4CD asked Oliver to send him a specimen of Primula farinosa in the letter to Daniel Oliver, 1 May . A note in the margin of the letter, presumably in Oliver's hand, reads: `These have not come out yet.'
- f5 3161.f5CD was experimenting with primroses and cowslips in connection with his investigation of the dimorphic condition of their pistils and stamens. He described the results of his study in a paper read before the Linnean Society of London in November 1861 (see Collected papers 2: 45--63). Having shown that cowslips required insect agency to effect pollination and set seed, CD advocated the view that oxlips were produced among the progeny of cowslips only as a result of cross-pollination with primroses (ibid., pp. 60--1).