To Gardeners’ Chronicle [before 14 September 1861]1
I have been endeavouring during several years to make out the many contrivances by which British Orchids are fertilised through insect agency. I am very anxious to examine a few exotic forms. Several gentlemen have kindly sent me specimens; but I have not seen one of Lindley’s grand division of Arethuseæ, which includes the Limodorideæ, Vanillideæ, &c.2 If any one would have the kindness to send me a few flowers and buds of any member of the group, packed in a small tin canister, by post, addressed as below, he would confer a very great favour on me. Would you have the kindness to inform me, if in your power, whether the late Professor Morren has published anything (and where) on the fertilisation of Orchids by insect agency?3
Charles Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent.
Requests orchid specimens from Arethuseae division for his investigation of the many contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insect agency.
Asks whether Charles Morren has published on the fertilisation of orchids by insect agency.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3252,” accessed on 28 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3252