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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Lawson Tait   17 [July 1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

J. 17th

My dear Sir

I thank you for your extremely kind note.—2 I did not answer, as you told me I might not, your former notes to Abinger, as I was quite worn out.—3 I wish I cd. help you about D. binata, but I hardly know Lady D. Nevill well enough to borrow plants for a third party.—4

You are aware that Dr Hooker has worked hard at Nepenthes & will soon publish: I told him to try the secretion of pitchers which had caught no insects, & it cd. not digest.5 Therefore to get the ferment, it wd be necessary to give some nitrogenous compound, & wd. not this make the separation of the ferment very difficult?—

In Haste | yours sincerely | Ch Darwin

Footnotes

The year and month are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Lawson Tait, 15 July [1875].
CD stayed at Abinger Hall, Surrey, the home of Thomas Henry Farrer, from 3 June to 6 July 1875 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Tait had written six letters to CD during his stay.
Tait was trying to obtain specimens of Drosera binata, the forked-leaf sundew (see letter from Lawson Tait, 15 July [1875]). CD had received the plant from Dorothy Fanny Nevill (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter to D. F. Nevill, 7 September 1874).
CD had advised Joseph Dalton Hooker on his research on the digestive properties of the tropical pitcher-plant, Nepenthes (Correspondence vol. 21, letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 November [1873]). For Tait’s interest in the plant, see the letter from Lawson Tait, 15 July [1875] and n 5.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Summary

Informs RLT of J. D. Hooker’s work on Nepenthes ["Nepenthaceae, Cytinaceae", in Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis by A. P. de Candolle (1873), 17: 90–116].

Has asked JDH to try secretions of pitchers that had caught no insects.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10023
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Sent from
Abinger Hall Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 221.5: 27
Physical description
2pp (Photocopy)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10023,” accessed on 22 November 2019, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10023.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23

letter