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Letter 5062A

Darwin, C. R. to Hildebrand, F. H. G.

20 Apr [1866]

    Summary Add

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    Is obliged to receive FH's papers. The cases of Lopezia and Schizanthus are new to him.

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    In 1860 CD watched Bombus lapidarius sucking the flowers of Pedicularis sylvestris and saw what FH has described.

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    Has not yet read the paper on Salvia.


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

April 20th

Dear Sir

I am very much obliged to you for so kindly sending me your most interesting papers. The cases of Lopezia & Schizanthus are quite new to me. A Botanical friend, Mr. Henslow, was staying here a fortnight since, & detected & showed to me the curious movements in Indigofera, which grew in my greenhouse.—

You may perhaps like to hear that in 1860 I watched Bombus lapidarius sucking the flowers of Pedicularis sylvatica, & I saw all that you describe: when the Bee forced its head into the corolla, the slit in the upper helmet-like petal opened & the anthers & stigma were rubbed on its back, so that its back was white with pollen.—

Several years ago I protected Medicago lupulina from insects, & its fertility was much impaired, but not wholly prevented. I know of many cases in which in the same genus one species requires insect aid & another is sufficiently or fully fertile without such aid; but in this latter case the flowers are nevertheless repeatedly crossed by adjoining plants.

I have not yet read your paper on Salvia, but I recognize the beautiful structures in your excellent drawings with which I am familiar.—

I hope that you will continue your interesting researches, & with sincere respect, | remain Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 5062a.f1
    CD had received copies of Hildebrand 1866a and 1866b. See letter to George Henslow, 16 April [1866] and nn. 2 and 5.
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    f2 5062a.f2
    For Hildebrand's descriptions of Lopezia coronata and Schizanthus pinnatus, see Hildebrand 1866a, pp. 75--7.
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    f3 5062a.f3
    George Henslow had visited CD from 2 to 3 or 4 April 1866 (Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242)). He had been preparing a paper on pollination mechanisms in Indigofera (see letter to George Henslow, 16 April [1866] and n. 2).
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    f4 5062a.f4
    Pedicularis sylvatica, commonly known as lousewort, is described in Hildebrand 1866a, pp. 10--11. CD reported his observations of bees visiting P. sylvatica in Cross and self fertilisation, p. 422.
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    f5 5062a.f5
    CD had written a note on Medicago lupulina that was included in a paper by Henslow on cross-pollination by insects in Medicago sativa (Henslow 1865). See Correspondence vol. 13, letter to George Henslow, [2--5 November 1865]. CD's observations were also published in Cross and self fertilisation, p. 368. His notes on M. lupulina, dated 1859, are in DAR 157a: 45.
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    f6 5062a.f6
    CD refers to Hildebrand 1866b. See letter to George Henslow, 16 April [1866] and n. 5.
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