To Daniel Oliver [21 November 1860]1
My dear Mr Oliver.—
Thank you for your note—2 I do not think the plant can be an Asclepias:3 as far as my memory serves the flowers were very simple & I think the proboscis was caught between stamens & pistil. The minute white or very pale pink flowers were not in trusses or umbels. I have seen the plant fairly studded with captured flies. My Father called it the Fly-catcher. It died down in winter. The leaves were narrow.— stem thin, much branched smooth & I think slightly succulent. You did send me the curious account of Asclepias, which surprises me much, considering R. Browns paper on importance of insects in its fertilisation.—4 The conferva seems a good suggestion.—
Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
In the Fly-catcher the orifice of corolla was small.— It is odd that such a plant shd. not be in Kew.— It lived 30 years ago for very many years in my Father’s flower-garden.— Would you ask Sir William if he can recognise my vague account?5
The plant CD’s father called "flycatcher" was not Asclepias.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2987,” accessed on 25 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2987