From Daniel Oliver 22 January 1863
22. 1. 1863
My dear Sir
You very greatly over-rate the labour of my Bibliography & yet more greatly extravagant is your notion as to my knowing many things.—1 Alas! I am dreadfully ignorant & my memory sadly imperfect.— Your suggestion about the sexes of water plants is interesting.2 In this relation it would be important to distinguish species the flowers of wh. expand under the surface,—& this wd. reduce the no. of “aquatics” very greatly. Crowfoot, Water-Lily, Utricularia, Vallisneria, Elodea & the like on the one hand—Naias, Zannichellia, Subularia (Cruciferae), Zostera &c. on the other.3 I should have liked to examine Subularia & thought about it before going down to the Lakes but saw none when there last time.
I am not aware that any sexual difference has been noticed in its flowers.4 Acct. wd. have to be taken of the Algae in such great preponderance submerged altogether,—fertilising of course by antherozoids. Some (as some Fuci) are monoecious & I fancy have both sexes in same conceptacle.5
My prospect of spare time keeps far off. Tomorrow eveng. (4 Fridays running) I have to lecture at Norwich (a thing you need not fear I shall get in to the habit of)6 On Saturdy. eveng. I have lectures to my class at U. College nearly done.7 I have undertaken to work up the botany of Amomums with Hanbury.8 the relations of Viscums &c to Gnetaceae I have to make up my mind about, &c. &c. &c.9
Very sincerely yours | Danl. Oliver.
Mr. Watson (of Ditton)10 sends me today some 2 score baby Brambles (seedling) to shew they are not the surpassingly rare things he thinks Mr. Bentham makes out (Linn. Socy. address./62)11
An obs. of mine in a Review of British Floras suggested his looking for them.—12
The number of "aquatic" flowers is reduced if one considers only those that expand under water.
Lecturing at Norwich.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3937,” accessed on 24 July 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3937