RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1861. Orchids, Fertilization of. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 37 (14 September): 831.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, text prepared and edited by John van Wyhe 2002-8, textual corrections by Sue Asscher 1.2007. RN3

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[page] 831

Orchids, Fertilization of.—I have been endeavouring during several years to make out the many contrivances by which British Orchids are fertilised through insect agency. I am very anxious to examine a few exotic forms. Several gentlemen have kindly sent me specimens; but I have not seen one of Lindley's grand division of Arethuseæ, which includes the Limodorideæ, Vanillideæ, &c.1 If any one would have the kindness to send me a few flowers and buds of any member of the group, packed in a small tin canister, by post, addressed as below, he would confer a very great favour on me. Would you have the kindness to inform me, if in your power, whether the late Professor Morren2 has published anything (and where) on the fertilisation of Orchids by insect agency? Charles Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent. [We are unable to answer this question, and must refer it to others. After searching through Morren's multitudes of pamphlets, we find nothing on Orchids except an academical dissertation on Orchis latifolia, and some remarks on the causes of the movements in the lips of Megaclinium.]

1 Lindley 1853. See Correspondence vol. 9, pp. 260-1.

2 Charles François Antoine Morren (1807-1858), Belgian botanist and horticultural writer. Darwin cited Morren 1839 in Orchids, p. 270.

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