skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   22 September 1877

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

Sep 22d 1877

My dear Dyer

The Euphorbias arrived in beautiful condition.1 I have a small plant of Eucalyptus globulus & having cut off two leaves the one with the bloom removed dried quicker than the other. This makes me anxious to have one or two branches of this tree with leaves still horizontal in position, so that we may compare by weighing the rate of evaporation of 6 or 8 leaves with the bloom on with another 6 or 8× with bloom removed. Could you spare a branch or two; & if bent & placed in a largish box with no packing, the bloom would not suffer. The case interests me as bearing on the existence of many plants with bloom in the dry Australian climate. Are there any Australian Acacias with moderately large leaves covered with bloom? I have A cultriformis, but can foresee that it will be almost impossible to remove the bloom without injury to the leaves, & therefore I should be glad of a species with larger & more separate leaves.2

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. | Your little note just received. I shd. be very glad of Mertensia maritima.3


See letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 15 September [1877]. CD had asked for specimens of Euphorbia from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for experiments on their movement. According to the Kew Outwards book, a specimen of Euphorbia jacquiniiflora was sent to CD on 18 September 1877; his experimental notes are in DAR 209.14: 22–3. Euphorbia jacquiniiflora is a synonym of E. fulgens, the scarlet plume.
Both Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian bluegum) and Acacia cultriformis (knife-leaf wattle) appear on an undated list of plants, possibly a packing slip, now in the Darwin Archive–CUL (DAR 209.12: 3). The Acacia was returned to Kew in May 1878 (see Correspondence vol. 26, letter to W. T. Thiselton Dyer, 20 [May 1878]).
Thiselton-Dyer’s note has not been found. Joseph Dalton Hooker had suggested that Mertensia maritima (oyster plant or oysterleaf plant) would be suitable for CD’s study of bloom (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 31 May 1877).


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


Thanks for Euphorbia.

Asks for plants for "bloom" experiments.

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. 97–8)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11149,” accessed on 26 September 2021,