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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [before 20 October 1873?]1

Neptunia (of paramount importance; it wd be worth my while to send to Oxford or elsewhere)2

Mimosa albida (when ready)

Mimosa bubal3

Mimosa —? which is not at all sensitive

Nelumbium leaf of.4

State Temperature at which I ought to keep the Mimosæ.—

Whether many strictly Tropical plants have glaucous leaves or fruit.

Any plant with irritable stamen or stigma, or other part,—is it excited by a Bristle or drops of falling water?— or Both?

Plant of Rubus—? from Himalaya5

Phosphate of Ammonia—6

1 gr. to 40 oz to water plants.


This letter was published in Correspondence vol. 21 from a copy at CUL; the original was later found at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The date is conjectured from the possible relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 October 1873.
CD discussed Neptunia oleracea (sensitive neptunia or water mimosa) in Movement in plants.
Hooker had reported that the leaves of Mimosa albida were not sensitive to water, so CD had asked him to try again under specific conditions and also to lend him a plant (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 September [1873]). CD discussed the species in Movement in plants. The babul acacia was Mimosa nilotica (a synonym of Vachellia nilotica).
In his letter of 14 August 1873 (Correspondence vol. 21), Hooker noted that the lotus genus Nelumbium (a synonym of Nelumbo) was a conspicuous example of a point CD had asked about, which was why the leaves and fruit of so many plants possessed a protective waxy coating or fine hairs (see ibid., letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 August 1873).
Rubus is a genus in the family Rosaceae (roses) that includes raspberries and blackberries.
Diammonium phosphate is used as a fertiliser.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 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.


Lists plants in which he is interested, including Neptunia and Mimosa species.

Do any strictly tropical plants have glaucous leaves?

Asks for observations on irritable plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (JDH/3/6 Insectivorous plants 1873-8 f.39b)
Physical description
2pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9107,” accessed on 24 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21 and 24 (Supplement)