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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   16 February [1878]1

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

Feb. 16th

My dear Dyer

I said I wd. not trouble you again for ever so long, but I told an awful falsehood. I want badly some seeds of Trifolium resupinatum. Help if you can.— It is the plant which has bloom on only half the lateral leaflets & I have thought of some experiments to try, which may possibly throw light on the use of bloom.2 My plants kept in greenhouse set no seed.

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

I removed with tepid sponge bloom from some Australian Acacias in June & no apparent effect was produced, but now these leaves have just dropped off, whilst those above & below adhere & look quite healthy!3


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 3 February [1878].
See letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 3 February [1878]. In 1877, CD had mentioned that the underside of only half the lateral leaflets of Trifolium resupinatum (Persian clover) had bloom on them and that the epidermal cells were of two different shapes on the upper and undersides of the leaf (see Correspondence vol. 25, letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [20–4 August 1877] and n. 4). CD’s observations on bloom on the leaves of plants raised from the seeds sent from Kew, made on 10 June [1877], are in DAR 68: 47.
CD’s experimental notes on bloom on an ‘acacia like cultriformis’, starting on 9 June 1877, are in DAR 67: 37. He had asked about Australian Acacias with larger leaves than Acacia cultriformis (knife-leaf wattle) in his letter to Thiselton-Dyer of 22 September 1877 (Correspondence vol. 25).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Wants Trifolium resupinatum for "bloom" 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: 110–11)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11362,” accessed on 4 March 2024,