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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   24 October [1872]1

Down. [Sevenoaks, Kent.]

Oct. 24

My dear Hooker

I heard from Scott that Dr. King (the superintendent, I suppose, at Calcutta) is now at home on sick-leave.2

Can you give me his address, & tell me whether he is well enough to answer queries about the worm-castings, which he kindly sent me from S. India.— I have just received a splendid letter from Scott on worms.—3

Secondly, can you tell me where I can buy Dionæa,—but I do not know certainly whether I shall go on with Dionæa this Autumn or next Spring4

If you are overwhelmed with work, I daresay Mrs Hooker5 wd. be so very kind as to answer my two queries.—

Ever yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 October 1872.
See letter from John Scott, 25 September 1872. George King was superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta.
See letter from John Scott, 25 September 1872. Scott had sent worm castings collected by King in south India along with castings he collected himself for CD.
CD had resumed his research on insectivorous plants in August 1872 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). He reported to Asa Gray that he had to put off further research because his plants were dying (see letter to Asa Gray, 22 October 1872 and n. 4). Dionaea muscipula (Venus fly trap) is native to North America. It dies back and remains dormant during the winter.


Asks for London address of George King [Superintendent of Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta], so he can ask about worm-castings sent by King from S. India. Has just received a splendid letter from John Scott on worms.

Asks where he can buy Dionaea.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Sevenoaks Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 94: 233–4
Physical description
ALS 3pp † (by ?)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8573,” accessed on 21 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20