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Darwin Correspondence Project

From D F. Nevill   2 September [1874]1

Dangstein Petersfield

2nd Sepber

My dear Sir

Some years ago you were kind enough to refer to me on some question relating to the fructification of Orchids—2 I have been most deeply interested in your last investigation into the carnivorous properties of certain plants and Dr Hooker has told me that you would much like a plant of Dionea3   Alas ours are all too small to be of any use to you but we have plants of Drosera Dichotoma and we could send you pitchers of the different kinds of Sarracenia—4 I am sure we possess numerous plants which would interest you could you but come and see them— need I say what pleasure it would give both Mr Nevill5 and myself were you to do so— I know you are interested in Cats I have got a beautiful one from Siam— I fear we can never tempt you here but could I at any time be of use to you in sending plants etc I shall be delighted to do so—so pray make use of us— I do so regret that at present the Dionias are not of any use— Do you know the Pulmonaria Maritima or Oyster plant—6

believe me | most truly yours | Dorothy Nevill

2nd September


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to D. F. Nevill, 3 September 1874.
To assist CD’s research on orchids, Nevill had sent specimens from her large collection of tropical plants (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to D. F. Nevill, 19 November [1861], and Correspondence vol. 10, letter to D. F. Nevill, 22 January [1862]).
Joseph Dalton Hooker had suggested Nevill as the most likely source of Dionaea, the Venus fly trap (letter from J. D. Hooker, [29 August 1874]).
Drosera dichotoma is a synonym of D. binata, the forked-leaf sundew. Sarracenia is the genus of trumpet pitchers native to North America.
Nevill’s husband was Reginald Henry Nevill.
Pulmonaria maritima is a synonym of Mertensia maritima subsp. maritima, the oysterleaf or oyster-plant.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Hooker has told her of CD’s work on insectivorous plants. Offers plants, but her Dionaea plants are too small now.

Letter details

Letter no.
Dorothy Fanny Walpole/Dorothy Fanny Nevill
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Dangstein, Petersfield
Source of text
DAR 172: 24
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9620,” accessed on 16 July 2024,

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