To Fritz Müller 2 November 1867
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Nov 2. 1867
My dear Sir
I recd yr letter of July 17 two months ago, but did not answer it sooner, partly because you said you were starting for the interior & cd not attend to science,1 & partly because I have been working so very hard at my book.2
At last it will be finished & published towards the end of this month.3 It consists of 2 vols 8vo. which shall of course be sent to you by post direct to Itajahy St Caterina Brazil.4 In your last letter you give me various interesting details on dimorphic plants,5—on the orchid with lateral fertile anthers6 & on sexual differences in crustacea7—for all of which I heartily thank you. The Borrerias are growing well8 & Cocopizum (or some such name) has just germinated.9 These with the Plumbago will give me a rich harvest next summer.10 The Gesnerias are now in flower; there is much difference according to the age of the flower, & the individual, in the length of the pistil; but now two plants have appeared with pistils so extraordinarily long that I begin to think the species must be dimorphic.11 Escholtzia Californica has proved with me self-fertile; therefore your experiment wd be worth trying again.12 From what you will see in my book about Passiflora, it wd be interesting to observe whether any not annual endemic species is self-sterile like your orchids.13 You might like to hear about Adenanthera; I wrote to India on the subject.14
I hear from Mr J. Scott that Parrots are eager for the seeds; & wonderful as the fact is, can split them open with their beaks; They first collect a large number in their beaks & then settle themselves to split them, & in doing this drop many;15 thus I have no doubt they are disseminated, on the same principle that the acorns of our oaks are most widely disseminated. I hope you will prosper in yr wild home, & hereafter find much of interest to observe.
Believe me | my dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
P.S. A new part of Hooker & Bentham’s Botany has come out & I hope has been sent to you, but I will before long make enquiries.16
Variation to be published at end of month.
Dimorphism and self-sterility.
Seed dissemination in Adenanthera.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5666,” accessed on 29 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5666