To James Drummond 20 December 1
Down Bromley Kent
I received your extremely interesting letter of Oct 8th this morning.2 I thank you much for the Distylis seeds which I will plant in greenhouse in the Spring.3 I will also have the pleasure of exaning the seed of the Compos. plant, which you describe as so remarkable.4 It seems a trifling point, but I have been extremely much interested by what you tell me of the small Bee extracting the pollen from within the indusium of the Brunonia. If you have any opportunity of observing, I should so much like to hear whether Bees do the same for Leschenaultia; or whether, as I suspect, in sucking the nectar of the flowers, their hairy abdomens do not brush over & partly open the slightly protuberant upper lip of the indusium—5
Another fact which you mention has interested me particularly, namely the Malvaceous plant setting seed with its flower never opening. I have observed something of this in Drosera rotundifolia & in Chlora perfoliata. Have you observed the Malvaceous plant during more than one year? And are you sure that it has not two periods of flowering (like some Campanulas) at one period opening its flowers & another period not opening them.—
Pray accept my cordial thanks for your very great kindness & believe me | Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Charles Darwin
P.S. I have kept back this note for a couple of days just to say that I have been interested by watching the achenia of the Styloncerus placed on damp paper. The vesicles which contain the dried mucus seem to me a pretty & curious adaptation; & the whole object very pretty under the microscope. I will communicate with Dr. Hooker, & if he thinks fit, I will insert an extract out of your note together with some account of the structure of the achenia, in some Periodical.6
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Drummond, James (a)
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Library Board of Western Australia, State Archives, Accession 2275A
- Physical description
Responds to JD’s letter . Would like to know whether bees extract pollen from within the indusium of Leschenaultia. He suspects they brush over and partly open the indusium while sucking nectar from the flower.
Asks also about malvaceous plant that set seed although its flower never opened.
Has been watching the achenia of the plant sent by JD and, if Hooker agrees, will publish a note on it ["Achenia of Pumilio argyrolepis", Collected papers 2: 36–8].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3026,” accessed on 28 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3026