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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. M. Holmes   23 October 1877

Museum Department | Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. | 17, Bloomsbury Square, London, W.C.

Octr 23/77

Sir

I enclose for your acceptance a few seeds of 2 plants which have a very curious structure in the flower.1 I am not aware that the object of the structure has as yet been investigated. The plants are at present in flower at Kew, from whence I begged a few seeds—hoping that you might be induced to investigate the matter, in the able manner in which you have hitherto laid open the secrets of nature. Unfortunately I have neither opportunity nor ability to investigate the plants thoroughly—

The hairs on the calyx appear to contain a very acrid fluid & act as stings   The stigma is apparently thoroughly protected from its own pollen until the anthers are over when it elongates. The base of the staminodes however form a kind of lever spring so that an insect alighting on the base of a petal raise the staminodes from the pistil. The object of this arrangement is not obvious to me.

Trusting you will pardon in the interests of science the liberty I have taken in addressing you

I am Sir | Yours very truly | E. M. Holmes | (Curator)

C. Darwin Esq

Footnotes

These plants have not been identified.

Summary

Sends seeds of plants for CD to elucidate floral anatomy.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-11203
From
Edward Morell Holmes
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Pharm. Soc. G.B.
Source of text
DAR 166: 255
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11203,” accessed on 28 September 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-11203.xml

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