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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Lawson Tait   25 November [1875]1

7, Great Charles St. | Birmingham.

Novr. 25

My Dear Sir,

Your plan of registration is so good that I adopt it in transmitting my paper to you.2

One point about which you may differ from me is the introduction of the word “rhine” (a nostril). The organs referred to are undoubtedly respiratory only, and as we have adopted the word stoma in animal physiology for a minute nutrient orifice, I think botanist ought to adopt another description of the ascertained function of the structure.3

I trust everything else will meet with your approval.

Yours faithfully, | Lawson Tait

P.S. My amanuensis, my wife,4 is off work for a day or two with a cold, but she will transmit you the abstract by tomorrow evenings or Saturdays post. Would you kindly include it with paper if you transmit it to the R.S. | L.T.


The year is established by the reference to Tait’s paper (see n. 2, below).
CD’s letter to Tait has not been found. He evidently suggested sending Tait’s paper on the tropical pitcher-plant to the Royal Society of London by registered post (see letter from Lawson Tait, 23 November [1875]).
Tait’s paper was not accepted for publication and no copy of the submitted manuscript has been found; however, in a later publication Tait used the word ‘stoma’ throughout to refer to the pores on the leaves of pitcher-plants (Tait 1879–80).
Sybil Anne Tait.


Tait, Lawson. 1879–80. Notes on the structures of pitcher plants. Midland Naturalist 2 (1879): 265–8, 295–7; 3 (1880): 5–8, 58–62.


RLT’s paper on insectivorous plants is being copied.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 178: 25
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10277,” accessed on 20 June 2021,

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