Cottage Gardener 1(16): 170-171 (January 1849)
Yellow Geranium
Donald Beaton

Now, some such directions as the foregoing, sent out to any of the missionary stations in south Africa, could hardly fail of procuring fine bulbs and seeds. There was an apothecary of the name of J. C. Lacy, in Port Elizabeth, Algoa Bay, who took orders for such things three or four years since, and, if he is there still, he could manage to see things from the eastern parts of the colony, shipped from Algoa Bay, or forward them to Cape Town. He would be the most likely person to hunt out the yellow geraniums, if they are to be found in the eastern parts of the colony, which I much doubt. The north-western parts are more likely to furnish them, and those pasture lands along the banks of the Oliphants' River, and of the banks of the streams which run into it, seem to be more suited for such vegetation, than the desolate plains and vallies to the eastward,—but this is mere conjecture. Those who have friends at any of the stations between Cape Town and the Orange River, are the most likely to procure them; and many people believe there are some handsome plants, never yet introduced from that large portion of the colony washed by the Atlantic, and this, probably, is true enough, seeing that almost all European travellers visiting the Cape, after a stroll up Table Mountain, direct their steps eastward to the Caffre frontiers. At any rate, we are quite certain that there are two or three kinds of geraniums, or, to call them by their more proper name—pelargoniums, growing somewhere in the Cape colony, with flowers as yellow as our buttercups—for we once possessed them, but they were lost soon after their arrival; and now that our industrious florists have done such wonders in improving the breed of these beautiful plants, we are most anxious to reintroduce those yellow ones, to enable them to vary the colours by crossing them with their improved breeds, and I have no doubt but many of our readers will be able and willing to help us to procure such rare treasures; not to hoard them up, however, for the gross purposes of pecuniary gain, but to give them away freely, to those who are the most likely to make the best use of them. For my own part, were I to receive a packet of their seeds to morrow, I would only keep two or three, and send the rest to different florists eminent in their calling, and if one or two lost them in the rearing, some one would be sure to succeed, and thus save them to the country, and for me to recommend the new breed from them for cottage windows—after a while.


Cottage Gardener 3: 330 (March 21, 1850)
Yellow Geranium

Our floricultural readers will hear with no small pleasure, that the prospect of receiving a Yellow Geranium again brightens. The following extract is from a letter we have received from the active and intelligent Secretary of one of our local Horticultural Societies:—

"In consequence of perusing your article on the best mode of sending bulbs, &c., to England from hot countries, I was induced to write to a near relative—the wife of a missionary of considerable influence, who has resided great part of his life in the colony of the Cape of Good Hope—asking her to make some inquiry as to whether the Yellow Geranium was really to be met with. Agreeably to my request, she wrote to Natal, but the flower is not (as you supposed) to be met with in that part of the colony, nor could she then hear of it. On making further inquiry, she was informed by a gentleman (I am not certain whether a missionary or a merchant) that he knew of three places where the yellow geranium is to be found; and I am promised, at an early opportunity, some seed if it can be procured. Believing that you and your readers would feel interested in this, I am induced to trouble you with this letter."


Beaton Bibliography

Cliff Blackman's yellow geraniums