25, Wilton Place.
My dear Sir
The Vellozicć as a group of Amaryllideć are now recognised as consisting of three genera Vellozia [Mort?] with indefinite stamens Barbacenia [Vand.?] with stamens in 3 phalanges and Xerophyta Jussieu with 6 stamens and connivent anthers<.> The two former are entirely Brazilian<.> Xerophyta contains about a dozen species from South Africa and Madagascar and about half a dozen from Brazil and to this genus belongs your plant from Natal. In the great Flora Brasiliensis Xerophyta was considered as a section of Vellozia and Hooker in the Botanical Magazine adopted that view not having then leisure to review the group – but the above distinction of the three genera is taken up by Mr Baker who has been working up the petaliferous Monocotyledons with great care and I fully agree with him. If Xerophyta were to be united with Vellozia the name has the right of priority but there is no occasion for that. It is a pity that Balfour proposed a new name without investigating Jussieu’s genus – and more especially that he named it after you who ought to be the patron of an undisputable genus <1>
Yours very truly
H. Fox Talbot Esqr
1. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine published his plant as Vellozia elegans, Natal Vellozia, s. 3 v. 25, 1 November 1869, Tab. 5803. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker observed, 'our first knowlege of this plant was derived from a specimen brought from his garden by the Hon. H. Fox Talbot, F.R.S., to the Kew Herbarium, in 1866, which was raised from seed procured either from the Cape or Madagascar, which Professor Oliver prounded to be a Vellozia (identical with a Natal plant, Hypoxis barbacenioides, Harv. MSS.), and the name V. elegans was proposed for it. A specimen, presented by Mr. Fox Talbot to the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, was next exhibited to the Botanical Society of that city by my friend Professor Balfour, as Vellozia elegans (see Proc. Bot. Soc. Edinb., ix. p. 79, Jan. 1867). At a subsequent meeting (l.c. p. 1839, 13th June), Dr. Balfour again exhibited this plant as V. Talboti, or, if it should prove a new genus, Talbotia elegans. On a third occasion (l.c. p. 192, 11th July), he exhibited it as Talbotia elegans, without a generic character....'