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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Daniel Oliver   12 July 1877


12 July, | 1877

My dear Mr Darwin

You are really the most generous man in the world! Dyer has handed me a copy of your “Forms of Flowers” inscribed from the author.1 Thank you very much. But I do not deserve this consideration one bit.

Prof. Alex. Dickson of Glasgow has been making observations in his elaborate way on the singular epidermal cells lining the pitcher of Cephalotus. He wants to know if any of those “confounded Germans” (as he disrespectfully calls them) have anticipated him. I am not aware that anybody has described histologl. details of Cephalotus. May I ask if you happen to have any such reference you wd. very kindly let him—or me for him—have it?2

Very sincerely yours | D. Oliver


Oliver’s name and William Turner Thiselton-Dyer’s appear on CD’s presentation list for Forms of flowers (see Appendix IV).
CD’s reply has not been found. Alexander Dickson read a paper on Cephalotus follicularis at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in August 1877; an abstract was published in the Journal of Botany, British and Foreign (Dickson 1878). Cephalotus follicularis is the Australian pitcher-plant.


Dickson, Alexander. 1878. On the structure of the pitcher of Cephalotus follicularis. (Abstract.) Journal of Botany, British and Foreign n.s. 7: 1–5.

Forms of flowers: The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1877.


Thanks for Forms of flowers.

Alexander Dickson would like to know whether anyone has described the epidermal cells lining the pitcher of Cephalotus.

Letter details

Letter no.
Daniel Oliver
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 173: 34
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11048,” accessed on 21 January 2022,