skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   26 June 1874

10 Gloucester Road, Kew

June 26. 1874

Dear Mr Darwin

I wrote you this morning a very hurried letter to thank you for the exciting intelligence you were so kind as to send me.1 I have been examining the leaves and seeds more attentively.2

As I have already written to you the “little glandular channelled or folded leaves” are those of Erica Tetralix   Of this I feel absolutely certain.3 No doubt this is abundant on the ground where the Pinguicula grows. The small sycamore shaped leaf quite puzzles me. I am inclined to think that it may be a cotyledonary leaf in which case there would be less chance of identifying it. There were besides certainly two germinating plantlets—each with two tiny seed-leaves and the fragment of a tigellum4 attached to them. They looked as if they belonged to different species and one I think was Cruciferous. There was also the fruit of a Carex with seed inclosed


I have tried hard to make out the species. It may be C. flava but I can’t be quite sure   Then there was the end of a branchlet of the inflorescence of a Juncus—J. supinus, Moench.5 This was probably what you thought might be Rumex and there is a certain resemblance   It was something like this


I have been wishing for ever so long to set to work diligently at Nepenthes6   But I am very much in arrear with works of obligation and I shall have no opportunity of

CD annotations

1.1 I wrote … attentively. 1.3] crossed ink
3.1 I have … opportunity of 3.3] crossed ink


No other letter from Thiselton-Dyer dated 26 June 1874 has been found; it was presumably written in reply to the letter to Thiselton-Dyer, 24 [June 1874].
With his letter to Thiselton-Dyer of 23 June 1874, CD had enclosed some small leaves and seeds that had been stuck to leaves of the insectivorous plant Pinguicula (butterwort).
This comment may have been in the missing section in Thiselton-Dyer’s letter of 25 June 1874, or in the missing ‘hurried note’ of 26 June 1874 (see n. 1, above). See also letter to W. T. Thiselton Dyer, 24 [June 1874].
Tigellum: the embryonic axis or primitive stem, which bears the cotyledons.
Juncus supinus is a synonym of Juncus bulbosus (the bulbous rush).


Identifies seeds adhering to leaves of Pinguicula [see Insectivorous plants, p. 369].

Letter details

Letter no.
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 58.1: 67–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9516,” accessed on 23 April 2019,

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