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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   18 October [1873]

Apropos of my asking for another sp. of Desmodium, Mr. Rollisson hope to get for me D. polycarpus violaceus; but I know not whether this has 3 leaflets.1 He has sent me 2 fine young specs. of D. gyrans,2 so I am well set up in this respect. I wrote to Balfour about Neptunia—it is lost there.3


Oct 18th.


This letter was published in Correspondence vol. 21 from a copy at CUL; the original was later found at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. CD had asked Francis Darwin to ask Hooker for another species of Desmodium for his work on movement of plants (see letter to Francis Darwin, 10 October 1873 and nn. 8 and 10). George Rollisson was in charge of Springfield Nursery in Upper Tooting, Surrey (Gardeners’ Chronicle (1880) 1: 23). Desmodium polycarpum (now Desmodium heterocarpon) has three leaflets. ‘D. polycarpus violaceus’ has not been identified.
Desmodium gyrans is the telegraph plant, now Codariocalyx motorius.
CD probably refers to John Hutton Balfour of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. He discussed Neptunia oleracea (a synonym of N. prostrata) in Movement in plants, pp. 128, 374, 402–3.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Hopes to get another species of Desmodium from Mr Rollisson.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
OC 18 73
Source of text
Royal Botanic Garden Kew (JDH/3/6 Insectivorous plants 1873–8 f.3a)
Physical description
ApcS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9100,” accessed on 27 November 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21