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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Horace Pearce   16 November 1876

The Limes | Stourbridge.

16 Nov: 1876.

Chas. R. Darwin Esq. M.A. &c. &c. | London

Dear Sir,

Not long ago I was descending the lower slopes of Cader Idris, bearing some fine plants of Drosera and Pinguicula,1 with flies caught strikingly on the former—fresh & struggling, when three Artists left their easels & crowded to witness the remarkable sight!

Now with the aid of your carefully written work I was able & gratified to study & experiment upon them at home, & found their digestive powers truly wonderful.2 I had them planted in peat, & the pans immersed in pans of water, with bell glasses over most of the time. But they have gradually died off. Do you think it is caused by the less pure air of this inland County, & our short distance (12 miles) from smoky Birmingham? It was previous to the late cold, & not caused thereby, I believe.

Have you remarked that the “hairs” extending part way down the leaf stalks of Drosera are just where a fly, if walking off, would be first likely otherwise to escape?

Faithfully yours | Horace Pearce. | F.G.S.


Drosera is the genus of sundews; Pinguicula is the genus of butterworts. Cader Idris is a mountain in Wales.
Insectivorous plants was published in 1875.


Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Asks advice on transplanting insectivorous plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Horace Pearce
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 174: 33
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10675,” accessed on 26 November 2022,

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