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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   7 August 1877

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Aug 7. 1877

My dear Dyer,

You told me that after Mr Lynch’s return, my asking for plants would not be very troublesome.1

By any strange chance have you a Robinia pseudoacacia in a pot; or so small a plant that it could be potted for me? A nurseryman potted a plant about 3 feet high for me, & it died at once.2 You know that the leaflets depress themselves a little if a branch is shaken for a minute or two. Now if you have any other species behaving in the same way, it would do equally well for my purpose.

I have received Schrankia from Mr Ellacombe; it was not potted, but to my surprise has recovered. It is to be forwarded afterwards to Kew.3

If Mr Lynch can find any other plant living near the sea with bloom on its leaves I should be very glad of it4

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Richard Irwin Lynch was foreman of the propagating department at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Robinia pseudoacacia is the black locust or false acacia. The nurseryman mentioned has not been identified. A plant was sent to CD on 5 September 1877 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Outwards book).
Henry Nicholson Ellacombe sent CD a plant of Schrankia uncinata (a synonym of Mimosa microphylla, littleleaf sensitive-briar) with the understanding that it would later be sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see letter from H. N. Ellacombe, 30 July [1877]). The plant was received at Kew on 3 September 1877 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Inwards book).
Lynch had sent CD seaside plants with bloom and listed them in his letter of 25 July 1877. For CD’s earlier research on the epicuticular coating known as bloom, see letter to Fritz Müller, 14 May 1877 and n. 2.


Requests plants that show movement, and any with "bloom" living near the sea.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Darwin: Letters to Thiselton-Dyer, 1873–81: ff. 80–1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11094,” accessed on 25 September 2021,