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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Price   [27 July 1874]1

My dear Darwin

You will, I think, have recd at least one consignment of Utricularia minor from Delamere; but I have some, in very good order, (not in flower though) awaiting your orders.2 U. vulgaris once astonished me by giving out from one (query 2?) of its utricles an incredible amount of gas, in a string of minute bubbles, for hours together. I soon found the Bladders were not floats; & their structure bespeaks some higher function.

Thanks for your letter & 1000 for your Book of which I have read some already!!!3 I never thot. Red grouse were made for our Islands.4 My friend Anderson, finding Scutellaria minor says it bears the same relation to the galericulata that P. lusitanica does to P. vulgaris!5 A good hit, for a non-savant, n’est-ce pas? I am very glad you take rest even when you much want it.6 But, dear aud Cholly, try prevention à propos, I saw Eucalyptus globulus at Oulton, alongside of Castor Oil;7 & “I laafed, I did”.

Yours very truly | John Price


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Price, 28 July [1874].
See letter to John Price, 27 [July 1874]. Utricularia minor is lesser bladderwort. Delamere Forest is near Chester, where Price lived.
Price probably refers to a now missing letter. CD mentioned a letter he had written to Price in his letter to John Ralfs, 8 July 1874.
CD probably sent Price a copy of the latest edition of Origin. In Origin 6th ed., p. xvii, CD referred to a statement by Richard Owen expressing doubt that the red grouse was a ‘distinct creation’ in Britain. The red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) is now considered to be a subspecies of the willow grouse (L. lagopus).
Scutellaria minor is lesser skullcap; S. galericulata is common skullcap. Pinguicula lusitanica is pale butterwort; P. vulgaris is common butterwort. Anderson has not been identified.
Price’s comment was ironic. CD was supposed to be taking a holiday at Abinger, Surrey.
Eucalyptus globulus is the bluegum eucalyptus; the castor-oil plant is Ricinus communis. Price probably refers to Oulton, Staffordshire.


Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Has some Utricularia minor for CD. Has found the bladders on U. vulgaris are not floats.

Thanks CD for book [Descent, 2d ed.].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Price
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 58.1: 143
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9522,” accessed on 24 January 2021,

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