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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Dickie   [5 July 1861]1

2. Hesketh Crescent | Torquay


Dear Sir

I thank you most sincerely for the Listera, which I have been very glad to examine.2 But most unfortunately from being packed in wood Box, instead of tin, the moss was almost dry, & even the buds partly withered, so that the rostellum would not show any signs of the curious vital action peculiar to this genus.— This is the more unfortunate


The dating is based upon the reference in the letter to George Gordon, 6 July [1861] to CD’s having received Dickie’s Listera specimens ‘yesterday’. Although 6 July 1861 was a Saturday, CD clearly states in the letter to George Gordon, 6 July [1861] that he also wrote to Dickie ‘yesterday’.
Dickie, professor of botany at Aberdeen University, sent CD specimens of Listera cordata (see Orchids, p. 152). He had previously supplied CD with information about another plant that grew near Aberdeen (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter from George Dickie, 1 December 1856).


Thanks for Listera specimen, which arrived withered from being sent in a wooden box.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Dickie
Sent from
Source of text
Liverpool Public Library
Physical description
inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3198,” accessed on 21 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9