To John Scott 2 May 1
of Down, Bromley Kent [Hartfield]2
My dear Sir
I have left home for a fortnight to see if I can with little hope improve my health—3 The parcel of orchid pods, which you have so kindly sent me, have followed me.4 I am sure you will forgive the liberty which I take in returning you the postage stamps.— I never heard of such a scheme as that you were compelled to practise to fertilise the Gongora!5 It is a most curious problem what plan nature follows. in this genus & Acropera.— Some day I will try & estimate how many seeds there are in Gongora.— I suppose & hope you have kept notes on all your observations on Orchids;6 for with my broken health & many other subjects, I do not know whether I shall ever have time to publish again; though I have a large collection of notes & facts ready.—7 I think you show your wisdom in not wishing to publish too soon; a young author who publishes every trifle gets sometimes unjustly to be disregarded.—8
I do not pretend to be much of a judge; but I can conscientiously say that I have never written one word to you on the merit of your letters that I do not fully believe in.—9
Please remember that I shd. very much wish for copy of your paper on sterility of individual orchids & on Drosera.—10
Thank you about Campanula perfoliata.— I have asked Asa Gray for seeds;11 to whom I have mentioned your observations on Rostellum & asked him to look closely to case of Gymnadenia.—12
Let me hear about the sporting Imantophyllum if it flowers—13
Perhaps I have blundered about Primula; but certainly not about mere protrusion of pollen-tubes.—14
I have been idly watching Bees of several genera & Diptera fertilising O. morio at this place & it is a very pretty sight.— I have confirmed in several ways entire truth of my statement that there is no vestige of nectar in the spur; but the insects perforate the inner coat.15 This seems to me a curious little fact, which none of my Reviewers have noticed.
with every good wish that I could anyhow aid you in any way.
Dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin
Impressed by JS’s attempts to fertilise Gongora.
CD has large collection of notes on orchids, but does not know when he will publish on them again.
Asks for JS’s papers on sterility of individual orchids and on Drosera.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4137,” accessed on 22 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4137