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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Daniel Oliver   20 December [1860]1

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 20th

My dear Mr Oliver

If you have Rafinesque’s New Flora of N. America, will you kindly look & tell me the date of Part First.2

Drumond of Swan River has sent me seeds of a Compos. Plant.—Styloncerus Humifusus of Labillard.3 As, after looking at them, I shall not want them, I have thought I would just mention that I had them, in case they shd. of any use at Kew; not that I suppose they would.—   He has sent me seeds of Distylis which I shall plant.—   You sent me a Goodenia, also, so I shall have plenty of this order now.— I have been pleased at a prophecy which I made to myself coming true, viz that Bees would open the indusium & get out the pollen & thus accidentally carry it from flower to flower, for Drummond writes that he watches a small Bee busily employed in extracting the pollen out of the indusium of a Brunonia.—   This feat, would I expect puzzle our European Bees.—

Yours very truly | C. Darwin


The year is given by the reference to the letter from James Drummond, 8 October 1860.
Rafinesque 1836, which was published in four parts. CD wished to consult the work in connection with the historical sketch he was including in the third edition of Origin. At some point, Oliver wrote the bibliographical information on the back of the letter. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 December [1860].
See preceding letter and letter from James Drummond, 8 October 1860 and n. 5.


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Rafinesque, Constantine Samuel. 1836. New flora and botany of North America. 4 pts. Philadelphia.


Requests date of [C. S.] Rafinesque[-Schmaltz], New flora of North America, pt 1 [1836].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Daniel Oliver
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.10: 28 (EH 88206011)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3027,” accessed on 26 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8