skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From L. C. Harrison   [22 August 1874]1

Rathmullen | Letterkenny | Co Donegal

Dear Uncle Charles

I was delighted yesterday to find some Pinguicula at last. I send some leaves with insects adhering in tin box. They are in alternate layers with moss. They were growing in a bog on a hillside among heath, sphagnum moss, Anagallis tenella, bog asphodel, Ranunculus &/c—2 I saw no seeds for certain. I dare say I may be able to get at some more if those are not carefully enough packed or you want to know anything more. I will look out for the seeds.

Just Post time | In great haste | Your affte niece | Lucy Harrison

Out of 157 leaves examined

70 had 1 or more insects adhering

87 had none

(This was done rather roughly)

There were several live aphids walking about without being caught


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from L. C. Harrison, [1 July 1874]. The date is established by the endorsement.
In Insectivorous plants, pp. 369–70, CD cited ‘a friend’ for observations on Pinguicula (butterwort) in Donegal, Ireland. Anagallis tenella is the European bog pimpernel; Ranunculus is the buttercup. Bog asphodel is Narthecium ossifragum; heath (heather) is probably Erica or Calluna.


Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Sends specimens of Pinguicula with insects adhering. [See Insectivorous plants, p. 369.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Lucy Caroline Wedgwood/Lucy Caroline Harrison
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 58.1: 81–2
Physical description
ALS 4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9606,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

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