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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Ernst Pfitzer1   19 June 1871

Bonn | Poppelsdorfer Schloss.

19 Juni 1871.

Hochgeehrter Herr!

Die so sehr freundliche Aufnahme, welche Sie meinem vor einiger Zeit an Sie abgesandsten Aufsatze haben angedeihen lassen, ermuthigt mich, wiederum Ihnen eine kleine Arbeit zu überreichen.2 Ich habe mich darin bemüht (S. 63.ff.), nachzuweisen, dass diejenigen Pflanzen, deren Blätter umfangreiche, nur der Wasseraufsammlung dienende besondere Gewebe besitzen, vorzugsweise Epiphyten sind. Da solche nur selten tropfbares Wasser an den von ihnen bewohnten Aesten vorfinden werden, da ferner alle Pflanzen ausser Stande sind, gasförmiges Wasser sich anzueignen, so glaube ich in jenen besonderen Wasseraufsammlungen durch den Kampf um’s Dasein erworbene Schützmittel gegen das Vertrocknen sehen zu dürfen und habe einige ähnliche Fälle, in welchen derselbe Zweck auf andere Weise erreicht wird, angeschlossen.3

Indem ich Ihnen für Ihren freundlichen Brief nochmals bestens danke, bleibe ich | Ihr | mit vorzüglicher Hochachtung | ergebener | Dr. E. Pfitzer

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix I.
No earlier correspondence between CD and Pfitzer has been found, but Pfitzer evidently had already sent CD an offprint of a paper on graft hybrids (Pfitzer 1869) and the first two parts of his study on the dermal tissue of plants (Pfitzer 1869–72). It is the third part of Pfitzer 1869–72 that is referred to in this letter. The papers are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
See Pfitzer 1869–72, pp. 63–72.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Pfitzer, Ernst. 1869–72. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Hautgewebe der Pflanzen. Jahrbucher für wissenschaftliche Botanik 7 (1869–70): 532–87; 8 (1872): 16–74.

Pfitzer, Ernst. 1869. Beobachtungen über Pfropfhybriden. [Read 5 July 1869] Botanische Zeitung 27: 839–43.

Translation

From Ernst Pfitzer1   19 June 1871

Bonn | Poppelsdorfer Schloss.

19 June 1871.

Highly honoured Sir!

The so very kind reception that you gave the essay I sent you some time ago encourages me in turn to present you with a small work.2 In it (p. 63 ff.), I tried to demonstrate that those plants whose leaves have extensive special tissues only for the purpose of water absorption are predominantly epiphytes. Since these will only rarely find liquid water on the branches where they live, and since, furthermore, all plants are incapable of assimilating water vapour, I believe this special water absorption must be seen as a protective measure, acquired in the struggle for existence, against drying out and I have also added some similar cases in which the same purpose is achieved by different means.3

Thanking you again very much indeed for your kind letter, I remain | with my profoundest respect | your devoted | Dr. E. Pfitzer

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see pp. QQQQ
No earlier correspondence between CD and Pfitzer has been found, but Pfitzer evidently had already sent CD an offprint of a paper on graft hybrids (Pfitzer 1869) and the first two parts of his study on the dermal tissue of plants (Pfitzer 1869–72). It is the third part of Pfitzer 1869–72 that is referred to in this letter. The papers are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
See Pfitzer 1869–72, pp. 63–72.

Bibliography

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Pfitzer, Ernst. 1869–72. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Hautgewebe der Pflanzen. Jahrbucher für wissenschaftliche Botanik 7 (1869–70): 532–87; 8 (1872): 16–74.

Pfitzer, Ernst. 1869. Beobachtungen über Pfropfhybriden. [Read 5 July 1869] Botanische Zeitung 27: 839–43.

Summary

Sends publication [unspecified].

Notes adaptive mechanism in epiphytes.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-7825
From
Ernst Hugo Heinrich (Ernst) Pfitzer
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Bonn
Source of text
DAR 174: 41
Physical description
ALS 2pp (German)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7825,” accessed on 25 June 2022, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/?docId=letters/DCP-LETT-7825.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19

letter