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To Daniel Oliver   11 September [1860]

Summary

Requests observations on Drosera and Dionaea,

and asks DO to look up Buchanan and Wight on insectivorous plants ["Conspectus of Indian Utricularia", Hooker’s J. Bot. 1 (1849): 372–4].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 9 (EH 88205993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2913

To Daniel Oliver   15 [September 1860]

Summary

Thanks for reference to Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

Requests DO observe rate at which Australian Drosera closes.

On detection of nitrogen in organic fluids.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  15 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 10 (EH 88205994)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2917

To Daniel Oliver   21 [September 1860]

Summary

Lists of nitrogenous organic fluids that produce contraction in Drosera, and details of how to reproduce results.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  21 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 11 and part of 17 (EH 88205995, 88206001)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2923

To Daniel Oliver   [22–3 September 1860]

Summary

Sends address.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [22–3 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 12 and part of 18 (EH 88205996, 88206002)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2924

To Daniel Oliver   [10 October 1860]

Summary

Delighted to try experiments on Drosera spathulata.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [10 Oct 1860]
Classmark:  
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2929

To Daniel Oliver   5 October [1860]

Summary

A poser: carbonate of soda produces inflection rather than contraction in Drosera. Possible solution: glands at end of hairs absorb as well as secrete. Fascinated by currents in cells after inflection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  5 Oct [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 14 (EH 88205998)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2939

To Daniel Oliver   [29 September 1860]

Summary

Requests Dionaea now that he knows Drosera so well. Wants to compare fluids secreted; in Drosera they are acid and have antiseptic effect on meat.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [29 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 15 (EH 88205999)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2941

To Daniel Oliver   12 [October 1860]

Summary

Requests DO apply carbonate of ammonia to sensitive hair of Dionaea and measure reaction time. Wants to compare Drosera and Dionaea.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  12 [Oct 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 16 (EH 88206000)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2946

To Daniel Oliver   12 [October 1860]

Summary

Wants to amend request [see 2946] if DO wants to try carbonate of ammonia experiment. Put third drop on midrib of leaf [of Dionaea] or inside upper side.

Sorry DO already has Origin. Would he like Journal of Travels [Journal of researches]?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  12 [Oct 1860]
Classmark:  UCL Library Services, Special Collections (Tipped into Journal of researches (1860) REF COLLECTION K SMITH WOODWARD DAR)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2946A

To Daniel Oliver   14 October [1860]

Summary

Has examined nearly all British orchids.

Hooker’s error on Listera.

Change in colour and consistency of Drosera hair glands after leaf inflection. Analogous structures in Dionaea. Requests Oliver confirm these observations on live plants, of which he has none.

In a muddle over the effects of salts on insectivorous plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  14 Oct [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 17 (EH 88206001)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2949

To Daniel Oliver   17 October [1860]

Summary

Thanks for information and extracts.

M. A. Curtis, quoted in ["Dionaea"] Penny encyclopedia [(1837) 8: 508], gives the only full account of Dionaea.

Concurs in DO’s explanation of Dionaea footstalk cells, which CD took for stomata.

Is using carbonate of ammonia as a substitute for flies and colour change in glands as index of action on Drosera. Suspects other nitrogenous compounds do not act till decomposed into carbonate of ammonia. Beginning to write Drosera paper. Action of nitrogenous compounds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  17 Oct [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 18 (EH 88206002)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2951

To Daniel Oliver   [31? October 1860]

Summary

The best way to see cell movement in Drosera hair, is to cut off those lately inflected over a fly, sketch shape of red matter under high power, and repeat after one or two minutes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [17 Oct 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 19 (EH 88206003)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2952

To Daniel Oliver   20 October [1860]

Summary

Will take Natural History Review, but cannot write for it.

Has mass of notes on irritability in orchids,

but he ought to work on Variation.

Drosera was an interlude while away from home. Expectations for effect of carbonate of ammonia on Dionaea. The important phenomenon in Drosera is the segregation of the red fluid within the leaf, not action of carbonate of ammonia on the red fluid.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  20 Oct [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 20 (EH 88206004)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2956

To Daniel Oliver   23 [October 1860]

Summary

Compliments DO on his wealth of information.

Henrietta’s relapse.

Thanks for extract on Drosera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  23 [Oct 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 21 (EH 88206005)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2959

To Daniel Oliver   24 [September 1860]

Summary

Admires DO’s correlation of spiny tree species and dry hot climate. CD suggests that spines, like strange aroma of desert plants, protect against browsing where there are few plants.

Fragrance and unisexuality.

Dimorphism in Viola tricolor.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  24 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 22 (EH 88206006)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2960

To Daniel Oliver   27 [September 1860]

Summary

Thinks he has worked out simple mechanism of movement in Drosera. Believes he is correct that gum has no effect.

Thanks for Trécul paper ["Organisation des glandes pédicellées de la feuille du Drosera rotundifolia", C. R. Hebd. Acad. Sci. 40: 1355–8; Ann. Sci. Nat. (Bot.) 3d ser. 3: 303–11].

Chloroform paralyses plants in 30 seconds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  27 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 23 (EH 88206007)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2965

To Daniel Oliver   3 November [1860]

Summary

DO’s candidacy for Professorship of Botany [at University College, London].

Henrietta’s health is better.

Paper in Botanische Zeitung [T. Nitschke, "Über die Reizbarkeit der Blätter von Drosera rotundifolia", 18: 229–34, 237–45, 245–50] missed leading point that plants close longer over animal substances. Carbonate of ammonia works on Lemna and Euphorbia roots.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  3 Nov [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 24 (EH 88206008)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2975

To Daniel Oliver   7 November [1860]

Summary

Congratulations on Professorship.

Homologies between Drosera and Dionaea. Carbonate of ammonia on roots. Wants W. H. Fitch to make drawings of Dionaea. Will copy minute structure of hairs from Trécul [see 2965].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  7 Nov [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 25 (EH 88206009)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2977

To Daniel Oliver   16 November [1860]

Summary

One thirty-thousandth of a grain of human hair inflects a single Drosera hair. Astonished by his results so he is not publishing until next summer. [Not published until 1875, Insectivorous plants. See ch. 2 for observations on inflection.]

Wants to study effects of acids on live Dionaea. Oliver should do their anatomy. Corresponding with chemical physiologists about carbonate of ammonia on roots.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  16 Nov [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 26 (EH 88206010)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2985

To Daniel Oliver   [21 November 1860]

Summary

The plant CD’s father called "flycatcher" was not Asclepias.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [21 Nov 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 27 (EH)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2987
Document type
letter (26)
Addressee
Correspondent
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Oliver, Daniel[X]
Date
1860
09 (9)
10 (11)
11 (5)
12 (1)
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