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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   22 July [1875]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent

July 22nd.

My dear Wallace

Many thanks for your note and am glad to hear that you are so hard at work you cannot read my book.2 If at any time you are curious on subject, you will find development of the Droseraceæ discussed in closing part of Chapt. XV, and I think I have thrown some light on the acquirement of wonderful power of digestion.— With respect to Utricularia, I can explain nothing, for there are no gradational genera, and even the embryology or development of the present bladders not made out.— With respect to the Droseraceæ, I think there is no doubt about the advantage which they gain by catching insects, as they can then live in extremely poor soil, as I show with respect to our common Drosera.3

My dear Wallace | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. R. Wallace, 21 July 1875.
Wallace had received a copy of Insectivorous plants (see letter from A. R. Wallace, 21 July 1875 and n. 1).
See Insectivorous plants, pp. 361–3. Utricularia: baldderwort. Drosera: sundew.


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


Glad to hear that ARW is so busy.

CD believes that he has thrown some light on the acquirement of the power of digestion in Droseraceae [in Insectivorous plants].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 271
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10088,” accessed on 31 January 2023,

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