The pelargoniums which are indigenous to South Africa and which are now largely cultivated as decorative plants were introduced into Europe in 1690.5) Recluz6) of Lyon in 1819 first obtained a volatile oil7) from the leaves. However, Demarson of Paris, in 1847 was the first to cultivate pelargoniums for the distillation of the oil. Since then their cultivation throughout France has been largely extended and was introduced into Algiers by Chiris and Monk.
In Spain pelargoniums were cultivated in the vicinity of Valencia by Robillard. Later they were also cultivated in the province of Almeria.
The island of Reunion has entered upon the cultivation of these plants since the eighties of the past century. Of much less importance are the plantations in Corsica.
1) Philosoph. Transact. (London) 37 (1731-1732), 84. - Abr. Vater, Dissertatio de Laurocerasi indole venenata. Wittenbergas 1737. - Bergius, Materia medica. Stockholm 1778, p. 401.
2) J. A. Murray, Apparatus medicaminum tarn simplicium quam prae-paratorum et compositorum etc. Gottingen 1784. Vol. 3, p. 213.
3) D. Schaub, Dissertatio medico-chymica, sistens Laurocerasi quali-tates medicas ac venenatas etc. Marpurgi 1802.
4) Trommsdorff's Journ. der Pharm. 11, I (1803), 259 and 262.
5) Piesse, The Art of Perfumery. IV. Edition, London 1879, p. 124.
6) Pharmaceutical Journal I. 11 (1852), 325.
7) This oil is not to be confounded with the so called Indian geranium oil, the palmarosa oil from Andropogon Schoenanthus, L.