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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   29 [June 1863?]1


My dear William.

I never saw such an organ as that which you draw;2 I shd. very much like to see a specimen.— Does the cup secrete any viscid matter? Please send the spec. in tin cannister or box with a little damp blotting paper. Botanists call all out of the way organs “glands” & no doubt they would call this a gland.—

Your affect | C. Darwin

I do not want Oxalis.3

Are little insects ever caught in the cup??


The date range is conjectured by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. E. Darwin, [28 June 1863?] (Correspondence vol. 24, Supplement).
See Correspondence vol. 24, Supplement, letter from W. E. Darwin, [28 June 1863?].
CD made a series of observations on Oxalis, beginning in April 1862 and ending in 1869; his experimental notes on this genus are in DAR 109: B3–27, B101, B108, and DAR 111: A44–48, B33–5, B43. CD’s experiments on species of Oxalis native to Britain focused chiefly on O. acetosella, and were concentrated in the spring and summer of 1863 and 1864 (DAR 109: B3–7 and DAR 111: A44, A46–8). CD’s interest in the occurrence of dimorphism in species of Oxalis began in 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to George Bentham, 24 November [1861] and 30 November [1861]). He pursued investigations on heterostyly (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 10, letters to Daniel Oliver, 20 [April 1862], 24 April [1862], and this volume, letter to Roland Trimen, 23 May [1863]), and on cleistogamy (see, for example, letter to Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener, [17–24 March 1863] and n. 7, and letter to Asa Gray, 31 May [1863]). CD published the results of his observations in Forms of flowers, pp. 169–183, 321–4.


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

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


Would like WED to send a specimen of the unusual plant organ of which he sent a drawing.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 94
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3367,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11