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Letter 3718

Oliver, Daniel to Darwin, C. R.

13 Sept 1862

    Summary Add

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    Has given directions to save seeds of Lythrum hyssopifolium.

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    CD's diagram of Lythrum salicaria is very remarkable. [See Collected papers 2: 107.]


Royal Gardens Kew

13. IX. 1862

My dear Sir

I have given directions about saving seeds of Lythrum hyssopifolium.

Your Diagram of L. Salicaria is very remarkable   I think it will be a very serious labour & difficult too satisfactorily to settle such a complication.

I wonder did you ever think about Compositae


Rolle is new to me,—the name I mean.— Bolle is a botanist who has worked on Atlantic Island botany.

Pray excuse the dirty blot.— | Sincerely yours | Danl. Oliver.

Charles Darwin Esq

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3718.f1
    At CD's request, Oliver had sent him a number of fresh specimens of Lythrum with his letter of 4 September 1862, including the rare L. hyssopifolia, plants and seeds of which CD had attempted to obtain from several correspondents (see letter to C. C. Babington, 2 September [1862] and n. 3). CD had written again, in a letter that has not been found, apparently to ask Oliver to obtain seed of this species for him (see CD's annotations to the letter from Daniel Oliver, 4 September 1862).
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    f2 3718.f2
    CD's letter has not been found; however, see CD's diagrams of Lythrum salicaria in the letter to W. E. Darwin, [2--3 August 1862], and in the letter to Asa Gray, [3--]4 September [1862].
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    f3 3718.f3
    Oliver refers to CD's work on dimorphic and trimorphic plants. His diagrams represent cross-sections of the inflorescences of the Compositae, indicating the differences between the ray flowers and the disc flowers. From left to right they indicate: ray flowers bisexual, disc flowers bisexual; ray flowers female, disc flowers bisexual; ray flowers sterile, disc flowers bisexual; and ray flowers female, disc flowers male (all these combinations occur in Compositae).
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    f4 3718.f4
    The German geologist and palaeontologist, Friedrich Rolle, had apparently sent CD a copy of the first part of his popular exposition of CD's theory (Rolle 1863; see letter to Daniel Oliver, [17 September 1862] and n. 10).
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    f5 3718.f5
    The German dendrologist and ornithologist, Carl August Bolle, had collected and identified plants in the Canary and Cape Verde islands (Taxonomic literature).
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