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Letter 4566

Darwin, C. R. to Oliver, Daniel

[22 July 1864]

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    Will DO observe whether leaf [of Nepenthes] with pitcher ever wound round a stick? CD's plant is improving.


Down Bromley Kent


Dear Oliver.

I am ashamed of myself for troubling you, busy as you are; but I was sorely tempted & I thought that you would naturally take a turn sometimes in the Garden.—

I am very glad that you are going to have a holiday in France. On your return, perhaps you will observe this one point.— whether a leaf with a pitcher has ever fairly & closely wound round a stick or support.—

My plant is improving for I have tried desperate methods of treatment & given it two steam baths daily at 100o. & it likes the stewing much.—

The facts which you give me & your capital outlines will be of use.—

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4566.f1
    The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Daniel Oliver. 21 July 1864. In 1864, the first Friday after 21 July was 22 July.
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    f2 4566.f2
    CD had asked Oliver about the climbing habits of Nepenthes (see letter to Daniel Oliver, 13 July [1864] and nn. 2 and 3, and letter from Daniel Oliver, 21 July 1864).
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    f3 4566.f3
    From his own observations, CD concluded that the leaves of Nepenthes wound around a stick in order to support the growing pitcher (see `Climbing plants', pp. 46--7).
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    f4 4566.f4
    CD had much difficulty in cultivating Nepenthes (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 March [1863], and this volume, letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 April [1864]).
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