To Friedrich Hildebrand 20 April 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
I am very much obliged to you for so kindly sending me your most interesting papers.1 The cases of Lopezia & Schizanthus are quite new to me.2 A Botanical friend, Mr. Henslow, was staying here a fortnight since, & detected & showed to me the curious movements in Indigofera, which grew in my greenhouse.—3
You may perhaps like to hear that in 1860 I watched Bombus lapidarius sucking the flowers of Pedicularis sylvatica, & I saw all that you describe: when the Bee forced its head into the corolla, the slit in the upper helmet-like petal opened & the anthers & stigma were rubbed on its back, so that its back was white with pollen.—4
Several years ago I protected Medicago lupulina from insects, & its fertility was much impaired, but not wholly prevented.5 I know of many cases in which in the same genus one species requires insect aid & another is sufficiently or fully fertile without such aid; but in this latter case the flowers are nevertheless repeatedly crossed by adjoining plants.
I have not yet read your paper on Salvia, but I recognize the beautiful structures in your excellent drawings with which I am familiar.—6
I hope that you will continue your interesting researches, & with sincere respect, | remain Dear Sir | Yours truly obliged | Ch. Darwin
Is obliged to receive FH’s papers. The cases of Lopezia and Schizanthus are new to him.
In 1860 CD watched Bombus lapidarius sucking the flowers of Pedicularis sylvestris and saw what FH has described.
Has not yet read the paper on Salvia.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Hildebrand, F. H. G.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Morristown National Historical Park (Lloyd W. Smith MS 698)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5062A,” accessed on 27 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5062A