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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. C. Tait   27 August [1869]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent. S.E.

Aug. 27th,

My dear Sir

I write merely to thank you for your very kind offer to send me more specimens and seed of Drosophyllum;2 but I will not trouble you, for they would be superfluous. Strangely 3 of your plants, after being sickly, have perfectly recovered and are growing vigorously and have produced plenty of seed! They catch abundance of insects; but I cannot make out anything peculiar about their structure or functions. I suppose it is my soil; for they cannot succeed at Kew.3 I am going to give one or two of my plants to Kew and seed. Dr Hooker has made out that the genus is certainly closely allied to Drosera, though having such different habits.4 The case of the Lizard is very interesting and shall certainly be quoted, if I ever live to come to embryology.5

With my best thanks. Pray believe me | yours sincerely and obliged | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. C. Tait, [23 August 1869].
CD refers to Joseph Dalton Hooker. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 August 1869 and n. 10.
CD presumably refers to information contained in the missing portion of the letter from W. C. Tait, [23 August 1869]. There are no references in CD’s published work to information from Tait on lizards.


Will not trouble WCT for more specimens of Drosophyllum. Hooker says genus is closely allied to Drosera, though having such different habits.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Chester Tait
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 147: 546
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6872,” accessed on 27 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17