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Letter 4418

Oliver, Daniel to Darwin, C. R.

[17 Mar 1864]

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    Observations on climbing species of Tacoma. [Tecoma!?]

Transcription

Thursdy. morng.

I have been looking at several species of Tecoma this morning. Trained up walls & iron girders or rafters they are more peculiarly unfavourable conditions for exhibition of climbing idiosyncrasies!—

T. capensis exhibits no rootlets nor do I see any indication of twining. It wd. seem to be a scrambler! T. undulata— I think I saw but a young plant. I doubt if it shew any twisting or climbing.—

T. jasminoides & T. Latrobei I find tips of branches spirally twisted— I put them in herewith.— T. Latrobei is the small-leaved one

Yours very sincerely D. O.

I wrote you about axis & leaf a few days ago. I have been thinking that I shd perhaps apologise for a letter which might have been more seemly if addressed to one of my students—but from the way in which the enquiry was put I thought there was indication of doubt upon one or two matters which routinists regard in the light of axioms.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4418.f1
    The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Daniel Oliver, 11 March [1864]. In 1864, the Thursday following 11 March fell on March 17.
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    f2 4418.f2
    CD had asked about the climbing movements of several species of Tecoma in his letter of 11 March [1864]. Though there is a note recording observations of T. jasminoides in DAR 157.1: 45, the only Tecoma species CD mentions in `Climbing plants' is T. radicans (pp. 25, 106, 114); he found that it climbed by its rootlets, and suspected that slight movements of its shoots were an indication that it had once been a twining plant. See CD's notes on T. radicans in DAR 157.1: 59--60.
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    f3 4418.f3
    See letter from Daniel Oliver, 12 March 1864.
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