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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   15 September [1860]1

In Lindley’s Vegetable Kingdom (p. 433) it is stated that the leaves of Drosera lunata “close upon flies and other insects that happen to alight upon them.”2 Can you refer me to any published account of the movement of the viscid hairs or leaves of this Indian Drosera?3

C. R. Darwin, Down, Sept. 15.


Although the letter is dated 15 September, it was apparently drafted on 11 September. See letter to Daniel Oliver, 11 September [1860].
Lindley 1846, pp. 433–4. See also letter to Daniel Oliver, 11 September [1860].
The letter was followed by a reply, presumably written by John Lindley, editor of the Gardeners’ Chronicle: Dr. Royle is the authority for the statement in question. In his Illustrations of Himalayan Botany there is the following passage:—“D. lunata occurs in the mountains from Silhet to the Sutlej. This I have found in the small valleys enclosed within the different lateral projections of the Mussooree range, where the ground is rather flat, and the soil moist. In such situations it springs up and flowers in considerable quantities, but only during the rainy season, when the thermometer has a range of not more than 10o, between 60o and 70o, and the hygrometer always indicates a degree of moisture approaching that of saturation. This species, which in my MSS. Catalogue I had named D. muscipula, from the glandular ciliæ of its viscous leaves closing upon flies and other insects which happen to light upon them, is remarkable, as in this respect resembling Dionæa muscipula, which is placed in the same natural family.” Lindley refers to Royle 1839, 1: 75.


Asks for any published reference providing account of the movement of the viscid hairs or leaves of Drosera lunata, an Indian Drosera which Lindley cites in Vegetable kingdom, p. 433.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gardeners’ Chronicle
Sent from
Source of text
Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 22 September 1860, p. 853

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2918A,” accessed on 23 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8