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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   6 October 1873

Royal Gardens Kew

Octr. 6. 1873

My dear Darwin

Mimosa prostrata is only a name from the Berlin Botanic Garden. The plant was described by Lindley as M. marginata1 a native of Brazil, which is slightly sensitive in fine weather.

Who supplies you with distilled water and your chemicals?2

Believe me | Yours truly | Jos D Hooker


CD had been working on Mimosa since at least August 1873 (see letter to Francis Darwin, 15 August [1873] and n. 10). CD described the movements of M. marginata in Movement in plants, p. 381. In Edwards’s Botanical Register (1838): (Miscellaneous notices) 82, John Lindley described M. marginata, adding that it was sold in nurseries under the names M. mexicana, scandens, and prostrata. He did not describe its movement or say that it was a native of Brazil. Mimosa marginata is now known as M. schleidenii; prostrata was the name given to it by Matthias Jacob Schleiden and Theodor Vogel (International legume database & information service, (accessed 27 March 2012)).
CD was using chemicals in his experiments on insectivorous plants. No reply to this letter has been found, but CD had long ordered supplies from his chemist in Bromley, William Walmisley Baxter, and lately had been given material, including distilled water, by Edward Frankland and Samuel William Moore (see, for example, letter to W. W. Baxter, 4 September 1873, letter from Edward Frankland, 27 September 1873, and letter from S. W. Moore, 3 October 1873).


Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Mimosa prostrata, described by John Lindley as M. marginata, native of Brazil.

Who supplies CD with distilled water and chemicals?

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 169–70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9089,” accessed on 21 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21