THF's view, if confirmed, pleases CD in that what appears a mere morphological character is found to be of use. Carl Nägeli has been attacking him on this head.
Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.
My dear M
Your view seems most ingenious & probable; but ascertain in a good many cases that the nectar is actually within the staminal tubes. One can see that if there is to be a split in the tube, the law of symmetry, would lead it to be double & so free one stamen.
Your view, if confirmed, would be extremely well worth publication before Linnean Soc. It is to me delightful to see what appears a mere morphological character proved to be of use; it pleases me the more as Carl Nägeli has lately been pitching into me on this head: Hooker, with whom I discussed subject, maintained that uses w
All that you say about changed position of peduncle in bud, in flower & in seed is quite new to me, & reminds me of analogous cases with tendrils. This is well worth working out, & I daresay the brush of the stigma.—
With respect to the hairs or filaments (about which I once spoke) within different parts of flowers.— I have a splendid Tacsonia with perfectly pendent flowers, & there is only a microscopical vestige of the corona of coloured filaments; whilst in most common passion-flowers, the flowers stand upright & there is the splendid corona which apparently w
On lower side of corolla of Foxglove there are some fine hairs, but these seem of not least use,—a mere purposeless exaggeration of down on outside,—as I conclude after watching the Bees at work, & afterw
I heartily wish I could accept your kind invitation, for I am not by nature a savage, but it is impossible—
Forgive my dreadful handwriting, none of my women-kind are about to act as amanuenses—
Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
I am going to publish some notes on Orchids & will send you a copy: I give, but with utmost brevity, your correction of my two errors.—
- f1 6859.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869.
- f2 6859.f2See letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869. Farrer cited CD on symmetry in the double aperture in Farrer 1872, p. 501.
- f3 6859.f3Although Farrer wrote up his observations on fertilisation in papilionaceous flowers in the autumn of 1869 and sent them to CD, he did not send them to the Linnean Society; they were published in Nature in 1872 (Farrer 1872; for the history of the paper, see ibid., p. 478).
- f4 6859.f4Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli had criticised CD's theories in Nägeli 1865; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 January 1869 and n. 1.
- f5 6859.f5See Correspondence vol. 16, letters to J. D. Hooker, 25 December  and 29 December 1868; see also this volume, letter from J. D. Hooker, 15 January 1869.
- f6 6859.f6See letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869.
- f7 6859.f7The French botanist has not been identified.
- f8 6859.f8See letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869.
- f9 6859.f9CD cited Farrer in `Fertilization of orchids', pp. 144, 146, for the information that the pollinia of both Ophrys muscifera and Peristylus viridis underwent a movement of depression.