To Fritz Müller 20 September 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I am very much obliged for your interesting letter written in such wonderfully good English about climbing plants.1 The case of Haplolophium is new to me & I am glad to have seen the tendril of Strychnos.2 I do not suppose I shall attend any more to climbing plants, but I shd like to hear if you ever meet with 2 species of the same genus, twining in opposite directions3 I should further like much to hear whether any twiners can ascend thick trunks.4 How wonderfully rich you are in climbing plants! As I see you know much more about plants than I do, I sent off by the post yesterday a German copy of my Orchis book & two papers on Dimorphism.5 The latter will I think interest you & perhaps one Chapter, for instance that on Catasetum in my Orchis book wd be worth your reading to shew how perfect the contrivances are.6 Your remarks on the spines in Acasta are quite new to me & seem very probable.7 In my last letter I alluded to Anelasma; I am not sure, but I think I speculated on the relation of the branching filaments to cement tubes, but rejected the idea on account of the apparent continuity of the filaments with the outer membrane of the Capitulum.8 Perhaps I may have made some mistake for your view now seems to me probable.9 My specimen unfortunately had been removed out of the Sharks flesh.
The difficulty which you quote from A. Agassiz on the embryology of the Echinodermata is quite beyond me & I shd think wd be just the subject for you.10 Any how the difficulty is quite as great to L. Agassiz on his views of classification as to us on descent & modification, & that is some comfort.11
Does it not often strike you that Natural History is rendered extremely interesting by such views as we both hold. This frequently occurred to me when reading your work. I am sorry to say my health keeps so weak that I am not able to do any scientific work. If you write again I shd very much like to hear whether you intend to remain long at Desterro & how you like your new home I have always heard the Island is most beautiful12 Have you ever read my Journal of Researches or Travels & if not wd you like to have a copy.13
With sincere respect, | My dear Sir | yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
Thanks for interesting letter on climbing plants.
FM’s view on Anelasma seems probable.
Difficulty quoted by FM from A. Agassiz on embryology of Echinodermata is quite beyond CD.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4895,” accessed on 14 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4895