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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   8 September [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept 8th

My dear Hooker

You are very good about Dionæa. Lady Dorothy writes most civilly, but has no plants.2 I have only a few observations which I want to make. The Kew plants have never well recovered their journey, but I am nursing them to the best of my power.3

I am very anxious when you come here to show you some structural points in Utricularia & get your judgment on them. I have spent full 3 weeks on this plant, but have made out but little in proportion. It cannot digest, but certainly absorbs the products of decay, whether only ammonia or other matter I am not sure.—

I fear there is no chance of your being able to send me a few bladders of the epiphytic Utricularia; I shd. excessively like to examine them.4

Ever yours | C. Darwin

Do come here.—

You were a good Doctor about Acacia Farnesiana—. it is now growing well, as is Mimosa albida—!5

Lady Dorothy has lent me a magnificent plant of Drosera dichotoma.—6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from D. F. Nevill, 3 September 1874.
Hooker had tried to obtain specimens of Dionaea muscipula, the Venus fly trap, for CD; he had contacted Dorothy Fanny Nevill, who had a large collection of tropical plants (see letter from D. F. Nevill, 2 September [1874], and letter from J. D. Hooker, [after 4 September 1874]).
CD had received two specimens of Dionaea muscipula from Kew on 31 August 1874 (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Outwards book, p. 323).
For CD’s difficulties in growing Mimosa albida and Acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia), see the letter to W. T. Thiselton Dyer, 28 [June 1874]. Acacia farnesiana is a synonym of Vachellia farnesiana.
See letter from D. F. Nevill, 3 September 1874.


Lady Dorothy Nevill has no Dionaea.

CD anxious to talk with JDH about Utricularia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 334–335
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9629,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

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