skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   3 August 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Aug 3/76

Dear Dyer

Will you ask Dr Hooker, or if he is not at home take the responsibility to send me two or three flowers of any Catasetum, should one flower during the next month or two, as I want very much to try one experiment on them.1

I should further be much obliged for a raceme of Acropera, Acineta, or Gongora.2 If a little damp moss were tied round their cut foot-stalks & they were sent me in a tin box by post, they would arrive in quite a fit state for my observations.

Forgive me for troubling you, & believe me | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Joseph Dalton Hooker frequently supplied CD with plants for research. CD had been working on a new edition of Orchids since 5 May 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). For CD’s remarks on the orchid genus Catasetum (subtribe Catasetinae), see Orchids 2d ed., pp. 178–208.
Acropera is now a subgenus of Gongora; Acineta and Gongora are both in the orchid subtribe Stanhopeinae.


Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.


Requests orchid specimens for experiment.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W.T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 41–2)
Physical description
LS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10569,” accessed on 2 March 2024,

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