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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   1 July 1870

Royal Gardens Kew

July 1/70

My dear Darwin

I am sorry to say that we have no seeds of the Hibiscus or Nolana;1 they are things of a class which it is not worth our while to harvest the seeds of— we can buy fresh seeds cheaper annually for ourselves & the rare correspondents who ask for them

I herewith send a list of the best Liliums we can give you plants of most if you do not want many— but I suppose that you want bed’s full.—2

I have lost a note I made about a work on European orchids that we want; & which you mention in your supplementary paper on Orchid: fertilization. What I want to know is when you saw said work— can you pick up my scattered ideas for me? You quote I think some Society’s memoirs, for the work3

We have been awfully gay of late at dinners & Garden parties. & I am proportionately behindhand & disgusted with myself.

Ever Yours affect | J D Hooker

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘London Inf. | I work like a Horse & am begun to get MS pages ready for Prg | what a good [illeg]4 pencil


See letter to J. D. Hooker, [29 June 1870]. CD had asked for seeds of Hibiscus africanus and Nolana prostrata.
The list of species of Lilium has not been found.
Hooker refers to ‘Fertilization of orchids’; he may refer to Hermann Müller’s paper on Westphalian orchids (H. Müller 1868), which is referred to by CD as a memoir (see ‘Fertilization of orchids’, p. 150 (Collected papers 2: 147)).
CD’s annotation is a note for his letter to Hooker of 2 July [1870].


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

‘Fertilization of orchids’: Notes on the fertilization of orchids. By Charles Darwin. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 4th ser. 4 (1869): 141–59. [Collected papers 2: 138–56.]

Müller, Hermann. 1868. Beobachtungen an westfälischen Orchideeen. Verhandlungen des naturhistorischen Vereines der preussischen Rheinlande und Westphalens (Botanik) 25: 1–62.


Hibiscus and Nolana seeds not harvested at Kew. Sends list of the best plants of Lilium he can give.

Asks CD for name of work on orchids mentioned in his supplementary paper ["Fertilization of orchids", Collected papers 2: 138–56].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 51–2
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7258,” accessed on 3 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18