Comments on WO's paper on Salvia [Pop. Sci. Rev. 8 (1869): 261–73], which he admires.
Caerdeon, Barmouth | N. Wales
My dear Sir
You must let me write half-a-dozen words to say how much I
admire your paper on Salvia. It seems to me excellently
worked out, & contains much that is new. I sh
I suspect that that the Salvia with shorter pistil will
prove merely an arrested form, for, as far as my experience
goes, it is not likely that two such wonderful means, as
complex mechanical contrivances & Dimorphism, sh
Judging from what I know occurs with some plants, for instance Verbascum, I apprehend that the Malvaceæ, which do not secrete nectar, are visited by pollen-collecting Bees.—
I congratulate you on publishing so striking a paper & remain, My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
I am not certain of your private address, & have not here any address-book.—
- f1 6818.f1The year is established by the reference to Ogle's paper on Salvia (see n. 2, below).
- f2 6818.f2Ogle's paper `The fertilisation of Salvia and some other flowers' appeared in the 1 July 1869 issue of Popular Science Review (Ogle 1869). CD's annotated copy of the paper is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL.
- f3 6818.f3CD had lent Ogle his copy of a paper on Salvia by Friedrich Hildebrand (Hildebrand 1866). When Ogle returned the paper he mentioned that he had been unaware that the main facts on the mechanism of fertilisation in the species had already been described, but concluded that he might still add some of his own observations (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from William Ogle, 2 September 1868).
- f4 6818.f4Ogle had observed two forms of Salvia patens, one with a shorter style (see Ogle 1869, p. 269). He noted the the longer styled blossoms were far more numerous and speculated that the second form was an accidental deformity.
- f5 6818.f5Ogle had suggested that self-fertilisation was easily accomplished in mallows (Malvaceae) that did not have nectaries, and suggested a causal connection between the two facts (Ogle 1869, pp. 270--1). In `Specific difference in Primula', p. 453, CD had observed that although the flowers of Verbascum did not have nectaries, they were frequently visited by pollen-eating bees
- f6 6818.f6CD addressed the letter to Ogle at `St. George's Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, London'.