Thanks for observations on dimorphic plants. Dimorphism prevalent in certain groups throughout the world.
Retarded fertilisation in certain orchids.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
Your letter of Nov 2. contains an extraordinary amount of interesting
matter. What a number of dimorphic plants S. Brazil
produces; you observed in one day as many or more dimorphic genera than all the
botanists in Europe have ever observed. When my present book is
finished I shall write a final paper upon these plants, so that I am extremely glad to
hear of your observations & to see the dried flowers; nevertheless I
It is curious how dimorphism prevails by groups throughout the world, shewing as I
suppose that it is an ancient character: thus Hedyotis is dimorphic in India: the two
other genera in the same sub-family with Villarsia are dimorphic in Europe &
Ceylon: a sub-genus of Erythroxylum is dimorphic in Ceylon ?& Oxalis with you
& at the C. of Good Hope If you can find a dimorphic Oxalis it will be a new
point, for all known species are trimorphic or monomorphic. The case
of Convolvulus will be new if proved. I am doubtful about Gesneria
& have been often myself deceived by varying length of pistil. A difference in the size of the pollen-grains w
Will you be so kind as to remember to tell me, when you next write, whether the Oncidium is an endemic species.
I do not know what to think about y
I have sent off Bentham's & Hooker's Genera by post to you. With respect to the scarlet seeds sent in a former letter I gave 2 to a fowl
but they were ground up by its gizzard & disappeared. The remainder I sent to
With cordial thanks for all y
P.S. Jan 1 1867
By some unaccountable delay I have only this moment received copies of your paper. I will send off 3 copies as before stated; I transmit to you by this post 11 copies; I retain 10 copies any or all of which I will send as you may direct.
- f1 5331.f1The date is established by the postscript.
- f2 5331.f2See letter from Fritz Müller, [2 November 1866].
- f3 5331.f3Müller sent a list of dimorphic plants he had recently found (see letter from Fritz Müller, [2 November 1866]).
- f4 5331.f4CD was working on the final chapter of Variation (see CD's `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 14, Appendix II)). CD wrote a further paper (`Illegitimate offspring of dimorphic and trimorphic plants') and eventually a book on this subject (Forms of flowers). (Müller sent CD dried flowers of some of the plants he referred to in his letter (see letter from Fritz Müller, [2 November 1866] and n. 1). A species of Plumbago was one of those identified by Müller as dimorphic.
- f5 5331.f5See letter from Fritz Müller, [2 November 1866] and nn. 8 and 12.
- f6 5331.f6Müller had written in an earlier letter about a species of Oxalis that he thought was dimorphic (see letter from Fritz Müller, 1 and 3 October 1866 and nn. 2 and 6).
- f7 5331.f7In his German translation of Müller's letter, Alfred Möller refers to the plant as Ipomoea (see letter from Fritz Müller, [2 November 1866] and n. 11).
- f8 5331.f8Müller's remarks on Gesneria were contained in a now missing part of his letter of [2 November 1866]. He later sent CD seeds of Gesneria pendulina; CD reported the results of his experiments with this species in Cross and self fertilisation, pp. 92, 322.
- f9 5331.f9Müller had described his observations on Eschscholzia californica, noting its infertility with pollen of the same individual plant (see letters from Fritz Müller, 2 August 1866 and [2 November 1866]).
- f10 5331.f10Müller's remarks on Oncidium were contained in a now missing part of his letter of [2 November 1866]. For his additional remarks on this orchid genus, see the letter from Fritz Müller, 1 December 1866.
- f11 5331.f11Müller had speculated that in many orchids the ovules were in a rudimentary state when the flower first opened and only developed weeks later to a stage where they were ready for fertilisation (see letter from Fritz Müller, 2 August 1866).
- f12 5331.f12CD had received bulbils of Oxalis sent by Müller in October 1866 (see letter to Fritz Müller, [before 10 December 1866] and n. 2).
- f13 5331.f13CD had offered to send the first two parts of Genera plantarum by George Bentham and Joseph Dalton Hooker (Bentham and Hooker 1862--83; see letter to Fritz Müller, 23 August ).
- f14 5331.f14Müller had sent the seeds with his letter of 1 and 3 October 1866 (see letter to Fritz Müller, [before 10 December 1866], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December  and n. 3).
- f15 5331.f15The reference is to Müller's paper on climbing plants, which had been sent to the Linnean Society by CD (F. Müller 1865b; see also Correspondence vol. 13, letter from Fritz Müller, [12 and 31 August, and 10 October 1865]). CD planned to send copies of the paper to the Botanische Zeitung, the American Journal of Science and Arts, and the Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France (see letter to Fritz Müller, 23 August  and n. 8).