ON THE VARIOUS CONTRIVANCES BY WHICH
BRITISH AND FOREIGN ORCHIDS
ARE FERTILISED BY INSECTS
AND ON THE GOOD EFFECTS OF INTERCROSSING.
By CHARLES DARWIN
2nd EDITION, REVISED
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY
DESCRIPTION: Original Murray cloth. 300pp, index. 38 woodcuts. 32pp of adverts dated January 1876. Freeman F801.
CONDITION: VERY GOOD-. The original covers have some wear and marks (see photos). Binding secure. Endpapers uncracked. Inserts to half-title and title pages (see photos) with a lot of offsetting. Otherwise good, with some minor foxing and marginal dustiness to majority of text. A decent, solid copy.
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Darwin described the origins and writing of this book in his autobiography:
On May 15th, 1862, my little book on the Fertilisation of Orchids which cost me ten months' work, was published: most of the facts had been slowly accumulated during several previous years. During the summer of 1839, and, I believe, during the previous summer, I was led to attend to the cross-fertilisation of flowers by the aid of insects, from having come to the conclusion in my speculations on the origin of species, that crossing played an important part in keeping specific forms constant.
Life and letters (Vol. III, p. 274) quotes Asa Gray as saying that 'if the Orchid-book (with a few trifling omissions) had appeared before the "Origin" the author would have been canonised rather than anathematised by the natural theologians', and notes that a review in the Literary Churchman found only one fault 'that Mr. Darwin's expression of admiration at the contrivances in orchids is too indirect a way of saying, "O Lord, how manifold are Thy works.'".
Darwin himself wrote to John Murray on September 24th, 1861, 'I think this little volume will do good to the "Origin", as it will show that I have worked hard at details'....
Full Contents list after the photos:
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INTRODUCTION .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Page 1
Structure of Orchis — Power of movement of the pollinia — Perfect adaptation of the parts in Orchis pyramidalis — On the insects which visit Orchids, and on the frequency of their visits — On the fertility and sterility of several Orchids — On the secretion of nectar, and on moths being purposely delayed in obtaining it .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9-53
Ophreæ continued — Fly and Spider Ophrys — Bee Ophrys, apparently adapted for perpetual self-fertilisation, but with paradoxical contrivances for intercrossing — The Frog Orchis; fertilisation effected by nectar secreted from two parts of the labellum — Gymnadenia conopsea — Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchis; their differences and means of fertilisation — Summary on the powers of movement in the pollinia .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 54-92
Epipactis palustris; curious shape of the labellum and its apparent importance in the fructification of the flower — Cephalanthera grandiflora; rostellum aborted; early penetration of the pollen-tubes; case of imperfect self-fertilisation; fertilisation aided by insects — Goodyera repens — Spiranthes autumnalis; perfect adaptation by which the pollen of a younger flower is carried to the stigma of an older flower on another plant .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 93-129
Malaxis paludosa; simple means of fertilisation — Listera ovata; sensitiveness of the rostellum; explosion of viscid matter; action of insects; perfect adaptation of the several oegans — Listera cordata — Neottia nidus-avis; its fertilisation effected in the same manner as in Listera .. .. 130-156
Cattleya, simple manner of fertilisation — Masdevallia, curious closed flower — Dendrobium, contrivance for self-fertilisation — Vandeæ, diversified structure of the pollinia; importance of the elasticity of the pedicel; its power of movement — Elasticity and strength of the caudicle — Calanthe with lateral stigmas, manner of fertilisation — Angræcum sesquipedale, wonderful length of nectary — Acropera, perplexing case, a male Orchid .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Page 157-210
Catasetidæ, the most remarkable of all Orchids — The mechanism by which the pollinia of Catasetum are ejected to a distance, and are transported by insects — Sensitiveness of the horns of the rostellum — Extraordinary difference in the male, female, and hermaphrodite forms of Catasetum tridentatum — Mormodes ignea, curious structure of flower; ejection of its pollinia — Cypripedium, importance of the slipper-like form of the labellum — Secretion of nectar — Advantage derived from insects being delayed in sucking the nectar — Singular excrescences on the labellum, apparently attractive to insects .. .. .. .. .. .. 211-285
Homologies of Orchid-flowers — The great modification which they have undergone — Gradation of organs, of the rostellum, of the pollen-masses — Formation of the caudicle — Genealogical affinities — Mechanism of the movement of the pollinia — Uses of the petals — Production of seed — Importance of trifling details of structure — Cause of the vast diversity of structure for the same general purpose — Cause of the perfection of the contrivances in Orchids — Summary on insect-agency — Nature abhors perpetual self-fertilisation .. .. .. .. .. .. 286-360
INDEX .. .. .. .. .. .. 361-365
LIST OF WOODCUTS.
I. ORCHIS MASCULA to face
II. POLLINIA OF ORCHIS MASCULA
III. ORCHIS PYRAMIDALIS
IV. MOTH'S HEAD AND PROBOSCIS, WITH ATTACHED POLLINIA
V. OPHRYS MUSCIFERA
VI. " ARANIFERA
VII. " APIFERA
VIII. " ARACHNITES
IX. PERISTYLUS VIRIDIS
X. GYMNADENIA CONOPSEA
XI. HABENARIA CHLORANTHA
XII. " BIFOLIA, POLLINIA OF
XIII. EPIPACTIS PALUSTRIS
XIV. " LATIFOLIA
XV. CEPHALANTHERA GRANDIFLORA
XVI. SPIRANTHES AUTUMNALIS
XVII. MALAXIS PALUDOSA
XVIII. LISTERA OVATA
XX. MASDEVALLIA FENESTRATA
XXI. DENDROBIUM CHRYSANTHUM
XXII. DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE VANDEAE
XXIII. POLLINIA OF VANDEAE
XXIV. CALANTHE MASUCA
XXVII. CATASETUM TRIDENTATUM
XXIX. MORMODES IGNEA
XXXII. SECTION OF FLOWER OF AN ORCHID
XXIII. ROSTELLUM OF CATASETUM
XXXIV. DISC OF GYMNADENIA
On 09-May-14 at 04:37:43 BST, seller added the following information: