Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
JDH/1/9 f.755
Stapf, Otto
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Letters to Otto Stapf
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
3 page letter over 1 folio

JDH writes to inform Otto Stapf that he has identified [Alfred Karl] Meebold's supposedly new balsam as an existing species to be found in the RBG Kew herbarium: Impatiens bicolor. He is returning the Balsams addressed to the Director [Sir David Prain]. JDH offers 2 brochures for the RBG Kew herbarium library, they are entitled BOTANISCHE WANDTAFELN & TURGOR DER MARKSTRAHLZELLEN. He does not understand the German terminology in the titles but has determined that they concern the fertilisation of orchids, Beech leaf tissue, a Plasmodium & the treatment of wood by salpeter. They were given to JDH by George King. An annotation signed by Stapf records that he has acknowledged receipt of Meebold's impatiens, accepted the brochures for the library & explained their German titles to JDH.


Wrote. Acknowledged receipt of Meebold's Impatiens. Text of Botan Wandtafln & Turgor paper welcome. German terms explained. 15. X. 09 O. S.*5

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My dear Stapf,
I am returning, addressed to the Director*2 [Alfred Karl] Meebold's*3 Balsams. The possibly supposed new one is nothing but I[mpatiens] bicolor Royle after all. I find corresponding specimens in Herb[arium] Kew & with even smaller leaves. I had forgotten all about them.
I have received from [George] King*4 two brochures entitled
Botanische Wandtafeln
Turgor der Markstrahlzellen
The first deals with the fertilization of some orchids; the leaf tissues of the Beech & a remarkable Plasmodium. The second appears

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to deal with the treatment of wood by salpeter, but as I cannot get English words for "Wandtafeln" & "Turgor" my opinion is valueless. I knew King & thought most highly of him & his early work.
I will send the two for Herbarium Library if wanted.
Ever sincerely y[ou]rs J. D. Hooker [signature]

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Wrote. Acknowledged receipt of Meebold's Impatiens. Text of Botan Wandtafln & Turgor paper welcome. German terms explained. 15. X. 09 O. S.*5


1. The Camp, Hooker's country, and later retirement home.
1a. Otto Stapf (1857--1933). Austrian botanist and taxonomist, the son of Joseph Stapf, who worked in the Hallstatt salt-mines. He published the archaeological plant remains from the Late Bronze and Iron Age mines that had been uncovered by his father. Stapf moved to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1890. He was keeper of the Herbarium from 1909 to 1920 and became British citizen in 1905. He was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1927. In 1908 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
2. Sir David Prain M.D., FRS (1857--1944). Director of Kew 1905 to 1922. Scottish physician and botanist. In 1884 Prain was recommended to Sir George King, home on leave from his position as director of the Royal Botanic Garden at Calcutta and looking for a medical student with botanical interests to enter the Indian Medical Service. Prain went to India as a physician / botanist in the Indian Medical Service, and in 1887 was appointed curator of the Calcutta herbarium. In 1898 he was promoted director of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta as well as the Botanical Survey of India, and superintendent of Cinchona Cultivation in Bengal, remaining there until 1905. From 1898 to 1905 he also served as Professor of Botany at the Medical College of Calcutta. In 1905 he became Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
3. Meebold, Alfred Karl (1863--1952). Botanist, writer, and anthropologist. He travelled to India three times, first in 1904. He travelled to New Zealand for the first time in 1928.
4. Sir George King (1840--1909). British botanist appointed superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta in 1871, and the first Director of the Botanical Survey of India from 1890. King was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1901. He was recognized for his work in the cultivation of cinchona and for setting up a system for the inexpensive distribution of quinine throughout India through the postal system.
5. Note added on third page, not written in the hand of Joseph Hooker and initialed O.S. [Otto Stapf].

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