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Letter 3243

Darwin, C. R. to Westwood, J. O.

4 Sept [1861]

    Summary Add

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    Is certain he never had Morren's paper from JOW or heard of it before JOW's note; will write to Gardeners' Chronicle about it [see 3252].

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    Thanks for the two Sphinx moths; unfortunately the pollen-masses do not belong to orchids but to Asclepias.

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    Asks whether R. B. Todd's Cyclopedia of Anatomy and Physiology [1835–59] has an article on fertilisation of orchids.


Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Sept. 4th

My dear Sir

I thank you cordially for all the great trouble, which you have so kindly taken for me.— Positively I have never seen your paper by Morren, or heard of its existence, except in your previous note.— I will write to Gardeners' Chron. & see whether Lindley knows.—

I do not possess Todds Cyclop. of Phy. &c: is there an article on the fertilisation of Orchids?

I received last night the two Sphexes, & I thank you much for so kindly sending them; but unfortunately the pollen-masses do not belong to Orchids (I have removed only one) but to Asclepias, which abounds in N. America, & requires, equally with Orchids, insect-aid.—

I am really sorry to trouble you, but how can I return the insects if not by Post? Shall I leave them at the British Museum in Dr Gray's hands, addressed to you, when I next go to London? But I shall not be in London for a month or two.— When you write to tell me what to do, will you tell me about Todd.—

With many thanks | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3243.f1
    Dated by the relationship to the letter from J. O. Westwood, 26 September 1861.
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    f2 3243.f2
    See letter to J. O. Westwood, 15 August [1861].
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    f3 3243.f3
    See the first letter to the Gardeners' Chronicle, [before 14 September 1861]. The botanist John Lindley was the editor of the Gardeners' Chronicle.
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    f4 3243.f4
    Robert Bentley Todd edited The cyclopedia of anatomy and physiology (1835--59).
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    f5 3243.f5
    CD had asked Westwood to send him specimens of insects with orchid pollen-masses attached to their probosces (see letter to J. O. Westwood, 15 August [1861]). Sphex is a genus of solitary wasp.
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    f6 3243.f6
    John Edward Gray was keeper of the zoological collection of the British Museum.
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