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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Horace Darwin   [15 October 1873]


From Father

Thank Balfour—

I will reflect on what he suggests— As such a multitude of plants get their leaves wetted, & only a few are protected by a waxy secretion, I cannot but think that these latter must be injured in some special way—1 Moreover the yellow spots on the leaves look like some direct agency—

N.B. I cannot procure any more Dionæa2


Francis Maitland Balfour was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, with Horace Darwin. No letter has been found containing his suggestions; CD was interested in the bloom or waxy coatings on some plants (see also Correspondence vol. 21, letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 October [1873]). This letter, which is in Emma Darwin’s hand, was enclosed with a letter from her to Horace.
CD’s research on Dionaea muscipula (Venus fly trap) was published in Insectivorous plants. CD had sent his best specimens to John Scott Burdon Sanderson for electrical experiments (see Correspondence vol. 23, letter to A. G. Dew-Smith, 19 October [1873]).


Sends notes on waxy secretion on leaves for F. M. Balfour; cannot procure any more Dionaea.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Horace Darwin
Sent from
Oc 15 73
Source of text
DAR 258: 548a
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9096F,” accessed on 22 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)