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Letter 3515

Oliver, Daniel to Darwin, C. R.

23 Apr 1862

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    Distinguishes two kinds of floral dimorphism: that affecting sexual organs and that affecting outer envelopes.



Wednesday | 23. Apr. 1862

Dear Sir

Here are the flowers of Oxalis as requested. I do not perceive anything distinctly dimorphic.—

My examining of the plant had reference chiefly to the aestival small flowers: they are very remarkable.— I altered a little the ``definition'' of the two groups of dimorphism in the paper which you so kindly looked over (& tho't worth printing!).— Making one group with the Dimorphism manifest in, primarily, a separation more or less of the sexual organs, accompanied or not by alteration in the outer whorls.— (Thus including all wholly or partially diclinous plants,—Catasetum, Primula, &c) & the other group marked primarily by alteration primarily in envelopes of the flower without separation of the sexes.

Of course this is only the morphologl. definition

After discussing their function &c. we may class them in corresponding group by other characters.

Very sincerely yours | Danl. Oliver

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3515.f1
    See letter to Daniel Oliver, 20 [April 1862] and n. 2. There are observational notes relating to these specimens, dated 24 April 1862, in DAR 109 (ser. 2): 5. CD subsequently concluded that Oxalis acetosella was not dimorphic (see Forms of flowers, pp. 181--3).
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    f2 3515.f2
    [Oliver] 1862c. See letter to Daniel Oliver, 15 April [1862].
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