skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Gordon   17 June [1861]

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

June 17th

Dear Sir

You formerly did me the inestimable service of sending me Goodyera.1 I have now examined almost every British Orchid, except Corallorhiza. I know it is most unlikely that you can aid me in this; but I have thought that you would forgive me writing for the bare chance. As it will save you trouble, I will assume if I do not hear that you cannot aid me.—2 If you can, will you be so very kind as to let me have a line; as in one fortnight I must go somewhere to the sea-side: & as I shall take my microscope I could send you my address.

Pray forgive the liberty which I have taken in troubling you & with very sincere thanks for your former great kindness. Pray forgive me | Dear Sir | Yours sincerely obliged | Ch. Darwin

Goodyera is growing in a shady peat-bed in my garden & I have hopes it will flower with me!


See Correspondence vol. 8, letter to George Gordon, 17 September [1860]. In Orchids, p. 112 n., CD stated: ‘Specimens of this rare Highland Orchid were most kindly sent me by the Rev. G. Gordon of Elgin.’
The orchid genus Corallorhiza is not described in Orchids.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.


Asks whether GG can help CD get specimens of Corallorhiza.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Gordon
Sent from
JU 17 | 61
Source of text
Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 61.7)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3185,” accessed on 21 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9