This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Pelargonium Tetragonum. Square Stalked Geranium.
Cal. 5-partitus, lacinia suprema definente in tubulum capillarem, nectariferum, secus pedunculum decurrentem. Cor. 5-petala, irregularis. Filamenta 10, inaequalia: quorum 3 (raro 5) castrata. Fructus 5-coccus, rostratus: rostra spiralia, introrsum barbata.
PELARGONIUM tetragonum pedunculis bifloris, ramis tetragonis carnosis, corollis tetrapetalis, L'Herit. n. 72. t. 23.
GERANIUM tetragonum. Linn. Suppl. p. 305.
A vein of singularity runs through the whole of this plant, its stalks are unequally and obtusely quadrangular, sometimes more evidently triangular; its leaves few, and remarkably small; its flowers, on the contrary, are uncommonly large, and what is more extraordinary have only four petals; previous to their expansion they exhibit also an appearance somewhat outrè, the body of the filaments being bent so as to form a kind of bow, in which state we have represented one of the blossoms in our figure.
When it flowers in perfection, which it is not apt to do in all places, the largeness of its blossoms renders it one of the most ornamental of the genus.
There is a variety of it with beautifully coloured leaves, of which we have availed ourselves in its representation.
It flowers from June, to August, and September; requires the same treatment as the more common Geraniums, and is readily propagated by cuttings.
Was first introduced to the Royal Garden at Kew, by Mr. Masson, in 1774, from the Cape, of which, it is a native. Ait. Hort. Kew.