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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Daniel Oliver   28 July 1862

Monday morng. 28.vii.62

My dear Sir,

I have seen Gower & he gives me the accompanying which he thinks may be the “dark Cycnoches” of your letter.—1 He also gives me a few flowers of the two spp. of Acropera, A. Loddigesii & “A. luteola”.2

I must try & notice your extraordinary work, tho’ I am very doubtful as to the mess I shall make.—3

Very sincerely yours | Dl. Oliver.

CD annotations

End of letter: ‘8d4 ink


See letter to Daniel Oliver, 24 July [1862]; William Hugh Gower was a foreman at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Oliver had assisted CD with his work on Acropera the previous autumn (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to Daniel Oliver, 30 November [1861] and 7 December [1861], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 [December 1861]). In Orchids, pp. 203–10, CD explained that he had to some extent removed the ‘opprobrium’ of being unable to elucidate the mechanism of fertilisation in these two species by his discovery that A. luteola was apparently dioecious, and that the plant at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from which he had seen specimens was male. He confessed, however: ‘the use of some important parts remains quite unintelligible’. In Orchids 2d ed., p. 166, CD noted that he had made observations on these two species ‘during several seasons’.
In the letter to Daniel Oliver, 24 July [1862], CD had encouraged Oliver to write a review of Orchids.
The annotation refers to the cost of postage of the plant specimens (see letter to Daniel Oliver, 29 [July 1862] and n. 7).


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

Orchids 2d ed.: The various contrivances by which orchids are fertilised by insects. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition, revised. London: John Murray. 1877.

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.


Sends orchids from W. H. Gower.

Letter details

Letter no.
Daniel Oliver
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 173: 16
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3668,” accessed on 29 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10