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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   2 July [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

July 2

My dear Hooker

You are very good about the lilies;2 we want only a few for pots to be brought into the drawing room when in flower; but we had not the least intention of begging bulbs from you.

I presume the paper about which you enquire is by Dr H Müller on Platanthera & Epipactis (excellent observations) published in Verhandl. d. Nat. Ver. Jahrg. XXV III folge, v. bd. p. 7 to 38.—3 I know no more than the man in the moon what all this means when expanded but it is correctly copied.

There is another essay published separately by Dr P. Rohrbach on Epipogium, Göttingen 1866.4 I have both these papers & cd find them with some little trouble; & when in 3 months time I class all my pamphlets I shall certainly come across them; I will however with the greatest pleasure hunt for them now if wanted.

Our London visit was very prosperous in all ways, except in missing Kew.5

I am now getting my M.S. ready to send to the printers6

yours affectionately. | Ch. Darwin

I have read with greatest interest Bentham’s last address: what a lot of thought he puts into a small space: some of the palæontologists will look green about the Proteaceæ.—7


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 July 1870.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 July 1870 and n. 3. CD refers to Hermann Müller’s observations on Platanthera and Epipactis in an article on Westphalian orchids published in Verhandlungen des naturhistorischen Vereines der preussischen Rheinlande und Westphalens (H. Müller 1868). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD refers to Paul Rohrbach’s monograph on the structure and fertilisation of Epipogium gmelini (now E. aphyllum, the ghost orchid; Rohrbach 1866). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
CD visited London from 24 June to 1 July 1870, but did not visit Hooker (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The reference is to the manuscript of Descent.
In his presidential address to the Linnean Society, George Bentham opposed the view of many palaeontologists that specimens of the order Proteaceae (now a family in the order Proteales) were numerous in Europe during Eocene times (Bentham 1870, pp. lxxxiv–lxxxix).


Bentham, George. 1870. Anniversary address. [Read 24 May 1870.] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 27: lxxiv–xciv.

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

Rohrbach, Paul. 1866. Über den Blüthenbau und die Befruchtung von Epipogium Gmelini. Göttingen: Universitäts-Buchdruckerei von E. A. Huth.


Thanks JDH for offer of lilies.

The paper on orchids is by Hermann Müller [Verh. Naturhist. Ver. Preuss. Rheinlande & Westphalens 25 (1868): 1–62], on Platanthera and Epipactis.

Cites another work by P. Rohrbach [Über den Blüthenbau (1866)].

MS [of Descent] ready for printer.

Has read Bentham’s last Linnean Society [Presidential] Address [Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (1870): lxxiv–xciv] with great interest.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 175–6
Physical description
LS(A) 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7261,” accessed on 6 June 2023,

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