To J. D. Hooker 30 January 1
My dear Hooker
I received the Bletia this morning, rather dry from paper-Box.— I suppose that you are sure it is a Bletia for its pollen is very different from that of any of the Epidendreæ which I have seen, & agrees with description of that of the Arethuseæ. If it be a Bletia, by Jove, Lindley’s grand divisions are not a little fanciful.1 I shall be astounded if the distinction from state of pollen alone can make good main divisions.
I have not written since your note of Saturday, in which you offer to collect cases of Dimorphism:2 I shd. not wish you to take trouble on purpose; but if you would make a note of any cases on which you stumble, I shd. be very glad. The cases of Balsamineæ, Violaceæ &c, I believe to be widely different from that of Primula.—
You allude to Caryophyllaceæ; I shd. in this one instance like soon to hear to what you allude.—3
I have been very sorry to hear about Busk.—4
Bateman has just sent me a lot of orchids with the Angræcum sesquipedale: do you know its marvellous nectary 11 inches long, with nectar only at the extremity. What a proboscis the moth that sucks it, must have! It is a very pretty case.5
Farewell | C. Darwin
Is JDH sure it is a Bletia, just received? Its pollen very different from any Epidendreæ he has seen. If it is Bletia, Lindley’s grand divisions are fanciful.
Accepts JDH’s offer to collect cases of dimorphism.
James Bateman has sent a lot of orchids with Angraecum sesquipedale. What a proboscis the moth that sucks its 11½ inch nectary must have!
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3421,” accessed on 11 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3421