The Various Contrivances by Which Orchids are Fertilized by Insects

by Charles Darwin
New York: New York University Press, 1989. 240 pages.

In The Various Contrivances (1862), Darwin provided specific reasons for his belief "that it is apparently a universal law of nature that organic beings require an occasional cross with another individual; or, which is almost the same thing, that no hermaphrodite fertilises itself for a perpetuity of generations. ... This treatise affords me also an opportunity of attempting to show that the study of organic beings may be as interesting to an observer who is fully convinced that the structure of each is due to secondary laws, as to one who views every trifling detail of structure as the result of the direct interposition of the Creator."