To W. C. Tait 17 July 1
Caerdeon, Barmouth | N. Wales
My dear Sir
Your obliging letter of the 11th has been forwarded to me here.2 The case of the Geranium is not new; there are many plants, often called Dichogamous, in which the anthers shed their pollen before the stigma is ready, and a few converse cases in which the stigma is mature before the pollen is ready. All these dichogams absolutely require cross-fertilisation. When I left home a month ago one alone of the Drosophyllums was still healthy.3 Dr Hooker4 begins to have some doubts whether Drosophyllum is so closely allied to Drosera. Pray do not give yourself any more trouble about the development of the Horns in Sheep. I have acquired some facts from Saxony which must suffice.5
I am not intending at present to publish on Instinct, though I have much MS. almost ready for press;6 and I doubt whether my strength will last out to publish much more on any subject. We have taken this house for 8 weeks for change of air, but it has done me very little good, and I hope to be at home again by the end of this month.
Pray believe me, | My dear Sir, | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
P.S. 2d [Asks whether Tait saw CD’s] little Book on the Fertilisation of Orchids by Insect Agency [and offers to send him a copy.]7
Discusses need for cross-fertilisation in Geranium.
Hooker begins to doubt whether Drosophyllum so closely allied to Drosera.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6833,” accessed on 19 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6833