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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Cross   9 October 1876

Bolland’s Court, | Chester,

9 Oct. ’76.

Dear Sir,

Your letter came to hand on Saturday & I am glad to learn that the specimens of sundew referred to in my first letter will be interesting to you.1 I was strongly tempted to cut the specimens up & try what I could make of them, but I knew they wod. receive much more enlightened methods of treatment from you. There is no doubt whatever that they are specimens of Drosera rotundifolia; some of the old roots leaves (as I now may term them) remain attached to the axis. I have not time today to answer all your queries, but they shall be fully answered in a few days   Your request concerning the transmission of the plants will be attended to. They will be watched daily & if they appear to deteriote I will forward them to your present address.2 There is every reason to think that they will last until the 23rd. Oct.

Enclosed are two or three rough drawings by a friend of mine under my superintendence.3

Fig. I is a new leaf from the old crown & you will observe that a bud has developed from the midrib. The new leaf has no tentacles, only hairs.

Figs 2. & 4 are views of two of the plants, minus the old radical leaves most of which have decayed, at least their petioles; for Fig 3 is a still living blade bearing an unfolding bud, the stalk having rotted away. The plants were laid on moist peaty soil in a saucer, grew under the shade of some lycopods & ferns & had the rays of sunlight for an hour or two in the middle of the day, but more of this after. I shall be too late for the post I’m afraid—

faithfully yours | Geo Cross

Chas. Darwin Esq







See letter to George Cross, 6 October [1876]. Cross had described changes in the leaves of the common sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) after being kept in a fern case in his letter to CD of 4 October 1876.
CD stayed at William Erasmus Darwin’s home in Southampton from 7 to 20 October (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Cross’s friend may have been John Davies Siddall (see letter from George Cross, 23 October 1876).


Sending specimens of Drosera grown without insects.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Cross
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 269
Physical description
3pp sketch

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10636,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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