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Darwin Correspondence Project

From D. F. Nevill   16 [September 1874]1

Dangstein, Petersfield


My dear Sir

I am so pleased and gratified by your photo received safely this morning—2 We looked particularly at the U— we sent you and if you remove the moss you will find the bladders at the footstalks—which I think are what you want   The Gardener shewed them me before sending off the plant to you so I do hope you will find what you require—3 We did not in the least require the Drosera to be returned—4 We have put on 4 leaves of the D Capensis bits of meat the leaves immediately curled up and after 4 days the bits of meat disappeared— we placed earth and moss on other leaves but there was no effect whatsoever5 We placed bits of white grissle in a pitcher of Nepenthes Rafflesiana—and another kind—and they have both been materially lessened but more so in the pitcher that contained the most fluid—6

If you would only pay us a visit here you would find an immense field for experiments and it would give us the greatest pleasure to see you— Do you know anything of the enclosed vegetable snails—and worms— They are from America—and perhaps might interest you   I fear there is no chance of our getting you down here but pray remember that if at any time we can help you with specimens we shall be truly glad to do so   We leave this on the 28th for about 10 days

believe me | Ys obliged | D Nevill


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to D. F. Nevill, 12 September [1874].
CD enclosed a photograph in his letter to D. F. Nevill, 12 September [1874]; Nevill had requested a carte de visite in her letter of [11 September 1874].
Nevill had sent CD a specimen of the bladderwort Utricularia montana (see letter from D. F. Nevill, [11 September 1874]). CD asked Nevill to have her gardener observe whether tiny bladders were produced on the footstalks of the plants (see letter to D. F. Nevill, 12 September [1874]). Utricularia montana is a synonym of U. alpina.
CD had returned the specimen of Drosera binata (the forked-leaf sundew; letter to D. F. Nevill, 11 September [1874]).
Drosera capensis (the Cape sundew) is native to South Africa. CD described his experiments with the plant in Insectivorous plants, pp. 279–80.
Nepenthes rafflesiana is Raffles’ pitcher-plant. Joseph Dalton Hooker was experimenting on the digestive powers of Nepenthes (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 17 August 1874).


CD should remove packing moss, and he will find bladders in foot-stalks of Utricularia DN sent.

Experimenting on insectivorous plants.

Implores CD to visit.

Thanks for photograph.

Letter details

Letter no.
Dorothy Fanny Nevill
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Dangstein, Petersfield
Source of text
DAR 172: 21
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9642,” accessed on 19 July 2019,

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