skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Daniel Oliver   21 July 1864

Royal Gardens Kew

21. July 1864

My dear Sir

Your enquiry about Nepenthes is a rather difficult one,1—especy. that with examinations, close work at Herbarium,2 & prospect of going away next week,—I have had little opportuny. of making observations in the mornings,—and then the Nepenthes are so knocked about by syringing that obs. upon the way in wh. they lay hold are not easily made except by intelligent gardener almost constantly on the spot. It would appear as tho’ the leaves wh. were most efficient as claspers were not pitcher-bearers,—at the same time the pitcher-bearers curl below the pitcher & are thus competent to moor themselves.—


+ thus.

The yg. leaves are often (usually?) more or less hooked as on opposite page copied from Korthals excellent figures.3 I must bear the matter in mind & communicate again with you about Nepenthes tho’ probably not before I return from So. France where I intend to go for 3 or 4 weeks.

Yours very sincerely | Dl. Oliver



Oliver was professor of botany at University College, London, and an assistant in the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (R. Desmond 1994).
See the second sketch. Oliver refers to the Dutch botanist Pieter Willem Korthals. The source from which Oliver copied the figures of Nepenthes is Korthals 1839–42, plates 1–3. See also letter to Daniel Oliver, 13 July [1864] and n. 3.


Desmond, Ray. 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish botanists and horticulturists including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. New edition, revised with the assistance of Christine Ellwood. London: Taylor & Francis and the Natural History Museum. Bristol, Pa.: Taylor & Francis.


Reports his limited observations on climbing of Nepenthes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Daniel Oliver
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 157.2: 105
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4571,” accessed on 26 October 2021,

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