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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   [16–22 October 1875]1

P.S. I had almost forgotten about the Imantophyllum. On looking into the matter it turns out that Imantophyllum Cyrtanthiflorum is a hybrid between Imantophyllum miniatum and Clivia nobilis (= Imantophyllum Aitoni). We have both cyrtanthiflorum & miniatum if you would like to have them, The former has flowered and has some fruits. These happen to be nearly erect. But no doubt the rest if they had set would have drooped2 W. T. T. D.


CD annotations

1.1 P.S. … Fruits. 1.9] ‘I infer from 2d note that the Kew I. cyrtanthiflorum is a hybrid & that there is a true I cyrtanthiflorum’3 ink
1.3 Cyrtanthifolium 1.4] underl blue crayon
End of letter: ‘(Dyer)’ blue crayon; ‘Gunnera’ pencil del blue crayon; ‘No 19’ blue crayon


The date range is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 16 October [1875], and the letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 22 October 1875.
According to an entry in the Outwards book (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), a plant of Imantophyllum cyrtanthiflorum (a synonym of Clivia x cyrtanthiflora) was sent to CD on 14 October 1875. A note inserted in pencil next to the entry reads, ‘probably not the thing | miniatum’. In his letter to Thiselton-Dyer of 16 October [1875], CD mentioned his plan for experiments with Imantophyllum and thanked Thiselton-Dyer for information on it. Thiselton-Dyer may have informed CD that the plant sent on 14 October was probably Imantophyllum miniatum (a synonym of Clivia miniata, the Natal lily or bush lily) in a missing part of his letter of 20 October 1875. A plant of Clivia nobilis (green-tip forest lily; Imantophyllum aitoni is a synonym) was sent on 26 October and a plant of I. cyrtanthiflorum was sent on 22 November (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Outwards book). For CD’s interest in the habit of the fruit (erect or drooping) of crosses between species of Imantophyllum, see the letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 16 October [1875] and n. 2.
CD’s annotation is a note for his reply of 26 October [1875].


PS concerning Imantophyllum.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
DAR 185: 152
Physical description
ALS 2pp inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10201F,” accessed on 30 September 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23