From T. H. Farrer 12 August 1869
Abinger Hall, | Dorking.
My dear Mr Darwin
I will certainly under such encouragement try to work out the papilionaceous flowers when I return from a three weeks semi offical cruise in the Trinity House Steamer.1 I have a few notes.
Are you sure about the hairs in the Foxglove.2 I watched some large humble bees—who are very fond of them—and it seemed to me that the hairs on the under lip of the corolla served as an excellent foothold. The flower bends directly the bee alights, and he has quite a struggle to get perpendicularly up in which as it seemed to me he was much helped by the hairs under his feet. This may be fancy but I thought I saw it—
I feel pretty sure about the hairs on the style of Vicia & Lathyrus.3
But of all this more by & by.
I think I must when I come back run over for a day and ask you to shew me your crossing & covering up processes.
Fanny begs me to say that you are the last person she credits with savagery, & only wishes you were strong enough to come and enjoy a song4
Very truly yours | T H Farrer
Charles Darwin Esqr FRS
Will work on papilionaceous flowers since CD encourages it. Discusses function of hairs in certain plants.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6861,” accessed on 23 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6861