Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Erratum in Mr. Wallace's Address (S260: 1876)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A short letter to the Editor printed on page 473 of the 28 September 1876 issue of Nature. Followed by W. Thiselton Dyer's contextual comments, under the same title. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S260.htm


     [[p. 473]] Please allow me to point out an error in my address as given in your issue of September 7 (vol. xiv. p. 407). Instead of "Pelargonium of Kerguelen's Land" read "Pelargonium of Tristan d'Acunha." This oversight was pointed out to me by Dr. Hooker in time to be corrected in the "Address" as published by the Association.

Alfred R. Wallace

*                 *                *

    [[p. 474]] There is a curious error in Mr. Wallace's address which seems to deserve notice, as otherwise it will be often quoted without suspicion. He remarks (Nature, vol. xiv. p. 407):--

    "It must also be remembered, as Mr. Moseley has suggested to me, that a flower which had acquired a brilliant colour to attract insects might, on transference to another country, and becoming so modified as to be capable of self-fertilisation, retain the coloured petals for an indefinite period. Such is probably the explanation of the Pelargonium of Kerguelen's Land, which forms masses of bright colour near the shore during the flowering season, while most of the other plants of the island have coulourless flowers in accordance with the almost total absence of winged insects."

    Now the difficulty is that there is no such Pelargonium1 in Kerguelen's Land, though it is true that the insects are apterous. The flora of Kerguelen's Land is enumerated in the Journal of the Linnean Society, xiv. pp. 389, 390. Of such a persistence as that alluded to by Mr. Wallace there is an instance in the case of Pringlea, of which Mr. Eaton detected some specimens with petals, though the coloration was, I believe very faint.

W. Thiselton Dyer


Note Appearing in the Original Work

    1.There is a Pelargonium in Tristan d'Acunha (see Moseley, In Journ. Linn. Soc. xiv. p. 383.) [[on p. 474]]


*                 *                 *                 *                 *

Return to Home