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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-2952

To Daniel Oliver   [31? October 1860]1

15. M. P. | Eastbourne

Wednesday

My dear Sir

Just received your letter. which I have hardly read—2 I write before morning post, to say, that I did not suppose you would care to look at the movement in Drosera;3 (I am very glad), else I would have told best way, viz to take Hairs lately inflected over a fly, cut off, & put either dry or in water between glass, under high power (14 object) make a sketch of shape of red matter, & look again in 1 or 2 minutes.— There is, also, sometimes a strong circulation in the cells.—   I refer to cells of footstalk of round-headed marginal Hairs—

Yours [illeg] | C. Darwin

Footnotes

1
Dated by the relationship to the letters to Daniel Oliver, 14 October [1860], 17 October [1860], and 20 October [1860], in which CD suggested experiments on Dionaea that Oliver might perform. The letter from Daniel Oliver, [before 23 October 1860], and the letter to Daniel Oliver, 23 [October] 1860, indicate that Oliver had not yet mentioned to CD that he intended to undertake such experiments. By the time that CD wrote the letter to Daniel Oliver, 3 November [1860], CD knew that Oliver also intended to look for the ‘moving red matter’ in the cells of Drosera rotundifolia (see n. 3, below).
2
Oliver’s letter has not been found.
3
CD had asked Oliver to examine actively functioning cells of Dionaea muscipula in order to substantiate his descriptions of a process that appeared to be connected with the plant’s metabolism. CD told Oliver about a similar process that he had first observed in leaves of Drosera rotundifolia. See letters to Daniel Oliver, 14 October [1860], 17 October [1860], and 20 October [1860].

Summary

The best way to see cell movement in Drosera hair, is to cut off those lately inflected over a fly, sketch shape of red matter under high power, and repeat after one or two minutes.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-2952
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Oliver, Daniel
Sent from
Eastbourne
Source of text
Down House (MS 10: 19)
Physical description
2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2952,” accessed on 30 September 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2952

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