To Henrietta Emma Darwin [14–21 April 1866]1
My dear Etty.
I doubt whether the Ophrys which you sent had been self-fertilised;2 it is more probable that the pollen-mass had by some accident been knocked on to the stigma.— In the Bee both pollen-masses fall quite symmetrically & spontaneously on the stigma.—3 I am so sorry about all the illness of your companions.4
Try & find out from Battersby whether he has himself observed changes in same plant from O. aranifera into O. scolopax & O. apifera.—5 Tell him I shd. be most grateful for information, but I suspect, that what he says is borrow shd. be most grateful for information, but I suspect, that what he says is borrowed from Moggridge.—6 If your Ophrys is not O. lutea, you will have to eat humble-pye to Mogg.—7
Mamma is better to day; but we have had a poor House— Everything now looks brighter; & I for one am nearly on the sound list8
My dearest Etty— yours affect | C. Darwin
Mamma tells me to add that your Mentone Letter has arrived & is satisfactory. It begins to appear a terribly long time since you left us.9
My dear Etty | Yours affect. C. D
Discusses some observations on, and the fertilisation of, Ophrys.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5074,” accessed on 3 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5074