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Darwin Correspondence Project

From L. C. Wedgwood   [22 September 1866]1

Leith Hill Place, | Dorking.


Dear Uncle Charles

This is what the Bot. Mag. says about Erica Massoni: “—the branches are long and upright, covered closely with numerous hoary leaves, nearly cylindrical. Most of these terminate in large umbels of flowers, which continue a long while in bloom and are so extremely viscous, that scarsely a winged insect can settle on them and escape with its life; the formidable wasp sometimes becomes its victim as we had once an opportunity of seeing.”2

From the plate there seem to be longish hairs about the calyx but he says nothing about them.3

CD annotations

1.1 Erica Massoni:] triple underl blue crayon
Top of letter: ‘Erica Massoni’ blue crayon


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to L. C. Wedgwood, [before 25 September 1866] (Correspondence vol. 14), which should be redated [before 22 September 1866]. The Saturday before 25 September 1866 was 22 September.
In his letter of [before 25 September 1866], CD had asked Wedgwood to check the description of Erica massoni in Botanical Magazine 10 (1796): 356.
See Correspondence vol. 14, letter to L. C. Wedgwood, [before 25 September 1866]. CD had particularly wanted to know whether glutinous matter was secreted by glandular hairs of the flowers or leaves.


Quotes Botanical Magazine on Erica massoni. Its branches terminate in large umbels of flowers that are extremely viscous and entrap insects.

Letter details

Letter no.
Lucy Caroline Wedgwood/Lucy Caroline Harrison
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Leith Hill Place
Source of text
DAR 58.1: 134
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9200,” accessed on 19 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)