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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Farrer   17 October 1869

Abinger Hall, | Dorking.

17 Oct | /69

My dear Mr Darwin

I have been looking again at Passiflora Cœrulea—at Tacsonia Mollissima— and another very like the one in your greenhouse, also at Sprengels excellent descriptions of P. Cœrulea—1And it strikes me that a comparison of the three suggests more than even Sprengel made out. Perhaps the accompanying notes may interest you especially if you can pull to pieces one of your beautiful pendent flowers.2

Many thanks for a paper received today

Sincerely yours | T H Farrer

Hooker is pleased with the enclosed and thinks if I doctor it up that it will be worth reading at the Linnean. I would prefix a short statement of what Sprengel says about it.3


See letter from T. H. Farrer, 13 October 1869 and n. 1. Farrer had evidently visited CD earlier in the month and seen a specimen of Passiflora in CD’s greenhouse (see letter from T. H. Farrer, 9 October 1869). The species was evidently P. van volxemii (see letter to T. H. Farrer, 20 October [1869]). P. caerulea is the common or blue passionflower and Tacsonia mollissima (now Passiflora tripartita var. mollissima) is the banana passionfruit. Farrer also refers to Christian Konrad Sprengel and Sprengel 1793, pp. 160–6 (see letter from T. H. Farrer, 13 October 1869 and n. 4).
The enclosure, which CD evidently returned, has not been found, but the corrected version, in the hand of a copyist, with corrections and diagrams by Farrer, and dated 13 November 1869, has been transcribed as Appendix IV. The version that CD saw was probably very similar to the notes in Appendix IV, except for the introduction on Sprengel.
The paper was never read at the Linnean Society of London or published in any of their journals.


Sends notes on observations of Passiflora and Tacsonia; Hooker thinks they would be worth reading at Linnean Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Farrer (1st Baron Farrer)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Abinger Hall
Source of text
DAR 164: 58
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6941,” accessed on 24 April 2018,

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