Transcription (WCP4106.4120)


Down, Beckenham, Kent

July 22nd (1875)

My dear Wallace

Many thanks for your note and am glad to hear that you are so hard at work you cannot read my book1. If at any time you are curious on [the] subject, you will find development of the Droseraceae2 discussed in [the] closing part of Chapt[er].XV, and I think I have thrown some light on the acquirement of [their] wonderful power of digestion. — With respect to Utricularia3, I can explain nothing, for there are no gradational genera, and even the embryology or development of the present bladders not made out. — With respect to the Droseraceae, I think there is no doubt about the advantage which they gain by catching insects, as they can then love in extremely poor soil, as I show with respect to our common Drosera.

My dear Wallace | Yours very sincerely | Ch[arles]. Darwin

Darwin is probably referring to his recent book, Insectivorous Plants, published in July 1875 by John Murray.
Drosera; commonly known as Sundews, one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants.
Utricularia: commonly and collectively known as bladderworts, a genus of carnivorous plants.

Please cite as “WCP4106,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 4 June 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP4106