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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   22 December 1873

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Dec 22. 1873

My dear Mr Dyer

I thank you heartily. Your letter & extracts are of much value to me, & it was very good of you to take so much trouble.1 I had wished to know about the re-secretion of bloom, & had ascertained that this does not occur in Desmodium.2 I am particularly glad to hear about Robinia, which I knew slept & had thought of syringing, but shd perhaps have neglected.3

The scepticism of Du Chartres about Dionæa is very rich.4

With very many thanks | yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Thiselton-Dyer’s letter has not been found.
CD had performed experiments on the effects of water on leaves of Desmodium gyrans (now Codariocalyx motorius) in October 1873; his notes are in DAR 209.12: 107–8, 111. Bloom is the epicuticular waxy covering that occurs on the leaves and fruit of many plants.
CD studied the effect of water on leaves of Robinia pseudo-acacia in 1877; his notes are in DAR 209.12: 167–72.
Pierre Etienne Simon Duchartre had argued that the idea that leaves of Dionaea absorbed dissolved animal substances disagreed with contemporary knowledge of the function of leaves and so did not deserve serious discussion (Duchartre 1867, pp. 357–8).


Duchartre, Pierre Etienne Simon. 1867. Éléments de botanique: comprenant l’anatomie, l’organographie, la physiologie des plantes, les familles naturelles et la géographie botanique. Paris: J.-B. Baillière et fils.


Concerning secretion of "bloom";

movements of Robinia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W. T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 3–4)
Physical description
LS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9189,” accessed on 30 September 2022,

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