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Record number: WCP3865

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
David Prain
21 April 1912

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to David Prain, [Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew] on 21 April 1912.

Record created:
07 February 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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LETTER (WCP3865.3784)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Finding number:
DC English Letters 1911-1920 Vol. 124
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information






April 21st. 1912

Old Orchard,

Ans[wered] Broadstone,

24.IV.122 Wimborne.

L[ieutenan]t. Col[onel]. D. Prain3

Dear Sir

The information you have been so good as to send me about the flowering of Doryanthes Pulmeri4 [sic] after having been 25 years (nearly) at Kew, is rather discouraging for me. I shall therefore try the effect of keeping it without water this summer. As the interior of Queensland is subject to [[2]] frequent droughts it is quite possible that the plant can stand them without injury & be made to flower by them.

I hardly like to beg any more plants of you, but if you have any surplus stock of Alpine plants, of any kinds, I should be very glad of any species whatever, as I have some suitable rock beds still unstocked, & even the commoner [[3]] will be very acceptable.

Believe me | Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. I have flowered this year from seed planted six years ago, -- Beschorneria Wrightii5, (I think) as the flower panicle is fully 8 feet high. I enclose a few flowers showing the change from deep green to yellow & red as they get older.


Not B. Wrightii which has very hairy flowers, but probably B. bracteata Jacobi6 (Bot[anical]. Mag[azine]. t. 66.41).7

Curtis 23-IV-128

Write again in autumn9


1. Written in ink in a different handwriting.

2. Written in pencil.

3. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir David Prain (1857-1944), Scottish botanist. He became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1905.

4. Doryanthes Palmeri is commonly known as the Giant Spear Lily.

5. Beschorneria Wrightii is a species of succulent plant.

6. Beschorneria bracteata Jacobi is a species of succulent plant.

7. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is an illustrated publication which was begun in 1787 by William Curtis (1746-1799) an English botanist and entomologist.

8. Writing is obscured by tape placed over the edge of the paper.

9. Written up the left-hand margin of page 2 in different handwriting.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.