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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [after 4 September 1874]1

I have written to this man,2 explaining his case (of surfeit) & asked if he can send you a strong plant, for which I offer him a exchange— I know nothing of him.3


Bisterne | Ringwood Hants

Septr. 4th. 74

To Dr. Hooker. Esqr.


I beg to forward for your inspection a leaf or Trap of Diomed.4

You will perceive that a blow-fly—has been caught in the trap—and the action of decomposition of the fly—has possitively set in decomposition of the leaf. I cannot perceive that the plant is the least benefited

I am Sir, | Your obedient Servt. | G. Gaterell

CD annotations

2.2 I … benefited 2.3] ‘Utricularia’5 pencil


The date is established by date of the enclosure.
George Gaterell.
Hooker’s note was written at the foot of Gaterell’s letter.
Evidently Gaterell meant Dionaea, the Venus fly trap. Hooker had offered to send CD specimens of the plant (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 August [1874] and n. 6).
CD had been investigating the digestive properties of Utricularia (bladderwort). See letter to J. S. Burdon Sanderson, 21 August [1874] and n. 5, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 August [1874].


Forwards a letter reporting on a blow-fly trapped by a leaf of Dionaea; decomposition of fly has also decomposed the leaf. JDH has written asking for a strong plant, and explaining the case [of surfeit].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 222–3
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9615,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22