RECORD: Anon. 1877. [Review of Orchids]. The fertilization of orchids. Hartford Courant (Connecticut), (5 April): 1. 

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

[page] 1

This edition of The Fertilization of Orchids by Insects, by Charles Darwin, is an enlargement and revisal of the edition of 1862, which had gone out of print. The additions and corrections are so numerous as to make this essentially a new work. The volume is freely illustrated, and is of course a mass of details of observations and anecdotes which would not be understood if quoted without the context. The object of the author may, however, be briefly stated as a showing that the contrivances by which orchids are fertilized are as varied and almost as perfect as any of the most beautiful adaptations of the animal kingdom; and that these contrivances have for their main object the fertilization of the flowers with a pollen brought by insects from a distinct plant; that it is an almost universal law that the higher organic beings require an occasional cross with another individual. That is to say: nature abhors in plants continual self-fertilization, and that cross-fertilization is sought. Like everything from Mr. Darwin's pen, the volume is certain to enchain the interest of the intelligent reader. (D. Appleton & Co.: New York Brown & Gross: Hartford.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 10 November, 2022