S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Upjohn, Mr Joseph (plant collection)

Born: 1799, England.
Died: 3 August 1883, Cape Town, South Africa.

Joseph Upjohn, seedsman and florist, cultivated plants at his Metropolitan Nursery in Rondebosch, Cape Town, and collected plants, bulbs and seeds in the wild. He already resided in Cape Town in 1839, when he was admitted for treatment to Somerset Hospital. Around that time he was declared insolvent. In 1856 he collected bulbs in British Kaffraria (the region around King William's Town), travelling as far east as the Kei River. He advertised in the Cape of Good Hope almanac... for 1857 that he sold seeds, cape flowering bulbs, fruit trees, vines and vegetable plants. He exported large quantities of indigenous bulbs and seeds to nurseries in England and in 1865 sent 4000 bulbs, representing 200 species, to J.D. Hooker*, director of Kew Gardens. Shortly after his death a Catalogue of Cape bulbs, based on his collection, was published by R. Johnson (Cape Town, 1883, 16p). His wife, Maria Upjohn, died in 1888. Both were buried in St Paul's churchyard, Rondebosch.

List of sources:
Cairns, M. St Paul's churchyard, Rondebosch. Familia, 1978, Vol. 15(3), pp. 57-61, 66-68.

Cape of Good Hope almanac and annual register, 1857.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Upjohn, Joseph.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Compiled by: C. Plug