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"Local Heroes" 2.2 Plants Associated with Masson


By david


This is not a complete list, and can be added to, or altered. The bracketed notes were obtained from online volumes of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine. (1)


Agapanthus inapertus (Drooping Agapanthus)
Amaryllis belladonna (Belladonna Lily)
Amaryllis longifolia
(introduced to Kew by Masson c.1773)


Babiana tubiflora
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1774)
Babiana stricta
(introduced to Kew by Masson)


Cistus algarvensis
(species brought from Portugal by Masson, in Banks’ herbarium)
Clethra arborea
(a native of Madeira. Introduced to Kew by Masson in 1784)


Dorotheansis bellidiformis


Encephalartos altensteinii (2)


Gardenia rothmannia
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1774)
Gladiolus alatus
Gladiolus blandus
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1774)
Gladiolus hybrids


Hypoxis stellata
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1778)


Ixia crispa
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1787)


Kniphofia rooperi
Kniphofia caulescens


Lobelia coronopifolia – Buck’s Horn Lobelia
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1787)
Lobelia hybrids


Marica plicata
(gathered by Masson at St. Christopher’s)
Massonia corymbosa
(found by Masson at the Cape of Good Hope)
Massonia ecbinata
Massonia pustulata

(see note on Massonia, below) (3)

Melanthium viride
(species brought to Britain from the Cape of Good Hope by Masson c.1788)
Melasphaerula graminea
(introduced to Kew by Masson in 1787)


Oxalis massoniana


Protea cynaroides – King Protea
Protea lepidocarpodendron


Senecio cruenta – Cineraria
Stapelia caespitosa
Stapelia nova
Strelitzia reginae (3)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise) (4)


Trillium grandiflorum
Tritonia crispa
(introduced to kew by Masson in 1787)
Tritonia deusta
(introduced to Kew by Masson)


Vaccinium arctostaphylis – Madeira Whortleberry
(introduced by Masson in 1777)


Watsonia x longifolia
Watsonia marginata


(1) For a historical summary of Curtis’s Botanical
Magazine, which dates back to back to 1787, see:-—1BrFyYdGuVy4KMs&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

The two links, above, are to digitalised, online volumes (17-18, and 25-26) and are worth looking at for the illustrations alone.

(2) Encephalartos altensteinii (Eastern Cape Giant Cycad). A specimen collected and sent back by Masson is currently Kew’s oldest specimen (1773-75), and is often known as the “oldest pot plant in the world”. I found this “Telegraph” article online, which I remembered reading in the newspaper, at the time.

(3) It is said that, at Carl Thunberg’s suggestion, Masson wrote to Carl Linneus (with whom he corresponded for a time, and to whom he sent specimens), asking for permission to have this named after himself.

(4)) Strelitzia reginae was named in honour of Queen Charlotte, who, before her marriage to King George III, was Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

More blog posts by david

Previous post: "Local Heroes" 2.1 Francis Masson (1741-1805)

Next post: Snowdrops at the "Haven"



Great information blog David, Mason had introduced quite a lot did nt he, love the tree fern and Bird of Pardise plant, always wanted one of these. I shall now look at the links and those illustrations.

12 Jan, 2011


Some sources credit Masson with 17,000, 6d!!! Hope, in a way, that I don't find them all, or this list will be rather long - lol!!! Enjoy the links, hope you like the old botanical drawings! :-))

12 Jan, 2011


I loved those drawings David, the ones in colour exceptional given me ideas for painting lol. My goodness David I hope you don't either lol you ll never get to work, nor we won't see you here at all until the end hehe. Best if you do find a number in a clump, to leave a link rather than type them all out or copy and paste.

12 Jan, 2011


Great work, David! I was surprised to see just how many names of plants I recognised! I never gave a thought to who may have discovered them! Now I know! Thanks for your hard work! :-))

15 Jan, 2011


Great work David an enjoyable read nice to know Masson's history and some of the plants we have in our gardens thanks to him all those years ago and now you for educating us :o)

17 Jan, 2011


Good idea, 6d! Have you started painting yet?

Hi Balcony. I'm being careful by listing plants as being "associated" with certain plant collectors, as many of the plants were not first discovered by them, but they have been responsible for introducing into this country/or for growing on on a larger scale. Some plants may be associated with individuals who were first to describe them in journals, but did not bring samples back, etc. (this is where things get rather confusing.


18 Jan, 2011


Lol David no I m not up to it at present, perhaps in the future hopefully.

19 Jan, 2011

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