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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   18 June 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

June 18. 1874

My dear Fox

I know that you observe all natural objects. I am in great want of a living plant of Utricularia. Have you ever seen it in clear ditches in the I. of Wight? If so, could you send me a plant (with a root if it has one) packed in damp moss in a tin box. I enclose habitats from Broomfield;1 but know not whether they are within a drive from you— I do not care about the flowers. I once saw the plant near Eastbourne.

Have you ever met with Pinguicola Lusitanica in the I. of Wight? If you could find it, I wd ask you to observe a point about it whilst in a state of nature; & indeed I shd like to see a specimen.2 I have been working at some very interesting points in P. vulgaris—3

yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD enclosed the last page of the letter from W. E. Darwin, [before 18 June 1874], containing a list, copied from Bromfield 1856, of the places in the Isle of Wight where Pinguicula (butterwort) and Utricularia (bladderwort) were found.
CD may also have enclosed a version of the letter to ?, 8 June 1874, which he had been circulating and which contained queries about Pinguicula. Pinguicula lusitanica is pale butterwort.
CD had been making a series of experiments on an unnamed species of Pinguicula since 31 May 1874, placing a variety of substances on the leaves and observing the extent to which they stimulated secretions; his notes on experiments from June and July 1874 are in DAR 59.1: 34–53.


Bromfield, William Arnold. 1856. Flora Vectensis: being a systematic description of the phænogamous or flowering plants and ferns indigenous to the Isle of Wight. Edited by William Jackson Hooker and Thomas Bell Salter. London: William Pamplin.


Asks for living plant of Utricularia and information on Pinguicula lusitanica. Gives notes on habitats.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 154)
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9499,” accessed on 25 June 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22