This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The communication by W. C. L. Drew in the September number of the Monthly is not only timely, but an exceedingly interesting one to me. The flower which he introduces to your readers by the name of Triteleia laxa, is a very familiar one to me. The plant but not the name. And it recalls to my mind very vividly, the great delight I experienced on first discovering it growing in all its perfection of bloom on the hillsides in California.
Some time during the month of May last, while in company with a friend, we determined on taking a ramble among the hills which so nearly environ the beautiful town of San Rafael, of which place the gentleman was a resident; and while ascending one of them our eyes were greeted with a fine display of this, the finest of California's floral gems. In ascending to the summit of one of the highest hills, the flowers became more profuse and beautiful, and I cannot refer to any previous botanical excursion that ever gave me such genuine delight as I experienced on this occasion.
That it improves by cultivation was very apparent, for near to where it was growing in great profusion a piece of ground had been enclosed for the purpose of growing the Eucalyptus. The ground on which the trees were planted had been pretty thoroughly broken up a year or two previous, and the bulbs which had remained in the ground at the time of the breaking up of the soil, had thrown up flower stems over two feet high, with umbels as large as those of Agapan-thus umbellata, and of dark blue or violet, very striking indeed. The plants on the inside of the enclosure being twice as large as those on the outside where the ground had not been broken up.
A short time subsequent to making this discovery, I met Prof. Bolander, of San Francisco, and to whom I introduced the subject, at the same time asking him to favor me with the correct name, which he did in writing, and the name as he gave it is now before me - Seubertia laxa - and that there may be no mistake of identity,I enclose you a small bulb which I dug from one of the hills in the vicinity of San Rafael. Please give us the true name.
[The name Seubertia which Kunth gave to this is more properly appropriated by a genus of composites nearly allied to the well-known Bellis or English Daisy; hence Hookers' name of Tri-teleia prevails. - Ed. G. M.]