From James Philip Mansel Weale [25 May 1870]1
The Periglossum I was also uncertain about but think it may be “macrum’ as that species is spoken of as a Kaffrarian plant but I have no description.2
Our present house is so small that I have been unable to open any of my collections or I had intended sending you some larvæ of Dactylethra & the bee’s nest spoken of before.3
I am trying the introduction of English & other grass seeds on my farm & hope they will prove successful. It is most singular to see how some weeds take hold of the ground where manure is in plenty about old sheep kraals especially Xanthium spinosum, Datura stramonium, a solanum & numerous other plants. The French marygold I have never remarked before as a weed but here it grows abundantly & bears magnificent double flowers finer than I have seen in any garden.4
Revd. Mr. Henslow’s remarks on Medicago, Indigofera &c. & my own observations on Schizanthus, Muraltia &c I have carefully watched various species of Polygala but have never noticed any movements.5
I have been much interested by observing a common species of Termes,6 the soldier of which has a pointed head. I have often remarked that a species of ant was always very active about their nests seizing the workers, but although much larger, retreated at once from the soldiers. As I had several times put my hand into a nest with the view of ascertaining whether the soldiers could hurt one I was the more surprised as I had never suffered any inconvenience although other species bite severely for their size, & the workers of this species have what look like formidable jaws although they never use them in defence: At last I found out the secret. I saw one
Behaviour of ants.