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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Daniel Oliver   [c. 10 June 1864]1


Dear Oliver.—

My paper on Lythrum is to be read on Thursday at Linn. Soc.—2

Will you grant me a favour: I know that you are a good hand at Diagrams; & I believe in 5 or 10 minutes you could copy a diagram in chalk on the board.— The diagram is with my paper.3 The only point to attend to is the relative length of pistils & stamens, & the dotted lines of full fertilisation.— Without the diagram my paper wd. be unintelligible. If you do not attend the meeting, pass this note on to Hooker.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

Prof. Oliver


This letter was enclosed with the letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 June [1864].
CD’s paper ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria was read at the Linnean Society on 16 June 1864.
See ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria, p. 171 (Collected papers 2: 107). The diagram shows the three flower-forms of the plant, with dotted lines indicating which pollen must be applied to each stigma to produce full fertility. The printed diagram corresponds to the sketch that CD enclosed in his letter to W. E. Darwin, [2–3 August 1862] (Correspondence vol. 10). The sketch is in DAR 185: 70. CD enclosed a similar sketch in his letter to Asa Gray, [3–]4 September [1862] (Correspondence vol. 10).


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

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

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]


Asks DO to draw diagram of Lythrum on board at Linnean Society for reference during the reading of CD’s paper.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Daniel Oliver
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.10: 61 (EH 88206044)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4532,” accessed on 23 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12