Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Knowltonia capensis Huth

Half-hardy cormous perennial with cordate or ovate, usually toothed leaves, and few-flowered umbels of narrow-petalled, daisy-like yellow-green flowers.  [RHSD]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Mr. Salisbury doubts whether this [Knowltonia vesicatoria] be really a distinct species from capensis, from which it seems to differ chiefly in bearing an umbel of much fewer flowers and in the narrowness of the petals. […] As all the species are from the Cape, capensis is undoubtedly an improper name, but we think ought nevertheless to be retained, for we consider it as a rule, rarely to be deviated from, that where it may become necessary to change the genus, the specific name before in use should still be preserved.  All the species of the genus are very acrid plants, and this is said to be used by the inhabitants of the Cape, in the room of Cantharides, to blister the skin.’  Cultivated in the gardens of Hampton Court in 1691.  [BM t.775/1804].  BR f.936/1825. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.292/1850]. 


Published Jan 19, 2009 - 04:51 PM | Last updated Mar 05, 2010 - 09:29 AM

Illustrated is a strawberry-like leaf and daisy-like green flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.775, 1804.

Knowltonia capensis Huth | BM t.775/1804 | BHL

Family Ranunculaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Knowltonia vesicatoria Sims
  • Adonis capensis L. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Knowltonia vesicatoria 

Confidence level high