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Darwin Correspondence Project

To D. F. Nevill   7 September 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sep 7. 1874

Dear Lady Dorothy Nevill

The Drosera arrived quite safely on Saturday night.1 I fear it did not like its journey, as the glands are rather dry; but I hope in a few days to see them secreting, & I will then make my observations. I have put the plant in a cool hothouse, which I trust is right. I will look in the course of the day & try to discover whether the pot has stood in a saucer of water.

As you were so kind as to offer to aid me, I will mention a plant which it is possible, though very unlikely, you may possess, namely an Epiphytic Utricularia. This plant, when making fresh shoots or leaves, produces minute bladders, but at no other time; & I am most anxious to examine a few of these bladders.2

The Drosera is an extraordinary looking plants & I am grateful to you for the opportunity of observing it.

Your Ladyship’s | truly obliged | Charles Darwin


CD had requested a specimen of Drosera dichotoma from Nevill’s collection of tropical plants (see letter to D. F. Nevill, 3 September 1874). Drosera dichotoma is a synonym of D. binata, the forked-leaf sundew. In 1874, the Saturday before 7 September was 5 September.
CD described the epiphytic bladderwort Utricularia montana in Insectivorous plants, pp. 432–41. Utricularia montana is a synonym of U. alpina. For CD’s interest in the absorptive properties of the bladders in Uticularia, see the letter to Edward Frankland, 31 August 1874.


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


Thanks her for specimen of Drosera. Asks for an epiphytic Utricularia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Dorothy Fanny Nevill
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.449)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9627,” accessed on 25 January 2022,

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