To J. D. Hooker [9 December 1861]
My dear Hooker
Lecoq is a miserable book—, dreadfully spun out, with maudlin speculations & a great dearth of precise facts: I do not believe it would be worth your having, & as here & there, miles apart, I find a reference or fact worth keeping, I will keep the monstrous work.—1
Bates writes he spent with you 3 or 4 of the most agreeable hours he ever spent in his life.—2
You were, of course, quite right. Bonatea does not at all favour the splitting & subsequent fusion of sepals & petals— The vessels run in Bonatea as in Habenearia.
I cannot get out of my head that these cases throw great doubt on value of vessels in regard to homologies.3
Upper petal Upper Sepal Lower Sepal Labellum ovarium
This seems structure of Bonatea speciosa & you will see what a little change in adhesion would almost convert it into Habenaria.—
Henri Lecoq’s miserable book on plant geography [Étude sur la géographie botanique de l’Europe (1854–8)].
H. W. Bates’s pleasure at meeting JDH.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3341,” accessed on 30 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3341