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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fritz Müller   [18 February 1876]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

My dear Sir

I have just received from Kew Cecropia peltata with the little excresences splendidly developed, & I have written to your brother begging him to send me a copy of your paper as soon as it is published.1 Your letter is in Nature & I will send you a copy in a day or two.2 I tell you about our Cecropia from Kew to save, you the trouble of sending us seeds3

Dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


CD had asked William Turner Thiselton-Dyer to have a plant of Cecropia propagated for him (letter from Charles and Francis Darwin to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 14 February [1876]). An entry in the Outwards book (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) for 17 February 1876 records the dispatch to CD of Cecropia peltata (the embauba or trumpet-tree). The excrescences CD refers to are the food bodies (now known as Müllerian bodies) found on the cushion-like structure (now called the trichilium) at the base of the petiole of leaves of the plant. Müller had mentioned his forthcoming short paper on this subject (Fritz Müller 1876) in his letter to CD of 25 December 1875 (Correspondence vol. 23). CD’s letter to Hermann Müller has not been found; no copy of F. Müller 1876 has been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
Müller’s letter to CD of 25 December 1875 (Correspondence vol. 23) was printed in Nature, 17 February 1876, pp. 304–5.
CD had requested seeds of Cecropia in his letter to Müller of [9 February 1876], but mistakenly referred to the genus as Ceropegia.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Has received seeds of Cecropia pellata from Kew.

Has asked Hermann Müller to send copy of FM’s paper as soon as published.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Loan MS 10 no 39) (EH 88205869)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10400,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24