Discusses the female parts of the Primula flower; the true character of the free placenta is not completely understood.
Royal Gardens Kew
My dear Sir
I shall be glad of a sight of the monstrous ovaries of Primula. The true character of the free placenta is not
thoroughly understood—indeed Caspary regards the
`pistil' as not homologous with the pistil (carpels) of other plants but as
`procarpels' the true carpels being reduced to the funiculus &
integuments of the ovules. Rather an absurd view.— But what we want is
something better to connect this free placenta of Primula with the marginal
I shall call at the New Conservatory this P.M. for flowers of Edwardsia
Ever Sincerely yours | D Oliver
- f1 3894.f1The letter is dated by the relationship between this letter, the letter to Daniel Oliver, 24--5 March , and the letter from Daniel Oliver, [27 March 1863]; the intervening Thursday was 26 March 1863.
- f2 3894.f2See letter to Daniel Oliver, 24--5 March .
- f3 3894.f3Caspary 1861. Oliver summarised the findings of this paper in the October 1863 number of the Natural History Review, noting its conclusion that `in Primula, the leaves, five in number, constituting the pistil, are pro-carpels, the true carpels being each reduced to funiculus and integuments of as many ovules' (Natural History Review 3 (1863): 583).
- f4 3894.f4See letter to Daniel Oliver, 24--5 March  and n. 5.