Aitonia CapensisCape Aitonia
- Class and Order
- Monadelphia Heptagynia
- Generic Character
- Monogyna. Cal. 4-partitus. Cor. 4-petala. Bacca sicca, 4-angularis, 1-locularis, polysperma
- AITONIA Capensis. Linn. Suppl. Pl. p. 303. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 612
- COTYLEDON foliis linearibus, flore quadrifido, fructu subrotundo. Burm. Afric. 53. t. 21. s. 2.
This genus, of which there is only one known species, has been named by the younger Linnæus, in honour of Mr. William Aiton, author of the Hortus Kewensis, and Botanic Gardener to his Majesty. The great length of time, Mr. Aiton has been engaged in the cultivation of plants, the immense numbers which have been the constant objects of his care through every period of their growth, joined to his superior discernment, give him a decided superiority in the prima facie knowledge of living plants over most Botanists the present day; his abilities in the other line of his profession, are displayed in the eulogies of all who have seen the royal collection at Kew, which he has the honour to superintend.
The Aitonia is a native of the Cape, and was introduced by Mr. Masson, in the year 1774.
It is a greenhouse shrub of slow growth, seldom exceeding three feet in height; producing, when of sufficient age, flowers and fruit through most of the year; the fruit is a large dry angular berry, of a fine red colour.
Our drawing was made from a very fine plant, formerly Dr. Fothergill's, now in the collection of Messrs. Grimwood and Co. Kensington.
It is only to be raised from seeds, which are sparingly produced in this country.