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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Daniel Oliver   2 January 1875

Royal Gardens Kew

2 Jan. 1875.

My dear Mr Darwin

The generic name Genlisea must of course be maintained for the Utricularioid plants with 5-merous calyx of which we have one species from So. Africa & a few from Brazil. Those of which I sent you fragments under that name you keep as Genlisea.1 From your letter this morning I take it you have already seen Warming’s paper on Utricularia & Genlisea2

Ever very sincerely with all best N. Year wishes,— | Yours D. Oliver

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Merely to say that fragment sent under name of Genlisea must be so called.’ ink


Oliver had sent CD fragments of Genlisea (the corkscrew plant) with his letter to 24 December 1874 (Correspondence vol. 22). Oliver had earlier pointed out to CD that Genlisea was ‘simply Utricularia with 5-lobed calyx’ (ibid., letter from Daniel Oliver, 19 December 1874). 5-merous: pentamerous, having five parts. Most species of Utricularia (bladderwort) have two calyx lobes, while some have four.
CD’s letter to Oliver has not been found. CD cited Eugenius Warming’s paper on Genlisea and Utricularia (Warming 1874) in Insectivorous plants, pp. 397 n. and 446 and n. For CD’s reply, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1875].


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

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Warming, Eugenius. 1874. Bidrag til Kundskaben om Lentibulariaceæ. I. Genlisea ornata Mart. (Hertil tab. V og VI). II. Spiringen af Fröene hos Utricularia vulgaris. (Hertil tab. VII). Videnskabelige Meddelelser fra den naturhistoriske Forening i Kjöbenhavn (1874): 33–58. (Resumé in French, pp. 8–15.)


The generic name Genlisea must be preserved for Utriculariaceae with five-part calyces.

Letter details

Letter no.
Daniel Oliver
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 58.1: 115
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9796,” accessed on 27 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23