On the Various Contrivances
by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing
This is a facsimile edition of Darwin’s work on orchids (1862) which drew on his own experiments to illustrate his argument, in Origin of Species, that ‘organic beings require an occasional cross with another individual’.
On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on
Charles Darwin was fascinated by the way the flowers of orchids had evolved to attract specific insects. Noting the very long spur of Angraecum sesquipedale, he predicted that it could only be fertilized by a moth with a 35cm tongue, a statement that was ridiculed until such a species was discovered after his death. This limited edition facsimile of his seminal 1862 book on the subject is bound in cloth using traditional methods.