- Subject: [IGSROBIN] Vixen
- From: Sandy Connerley sandyc@SURFARI.NET
- Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 11:02:38 -0700
This is the only thing I have found in back issues of Geraniums Around
the World -
Vol XVIII, No 2, July 1970, page 11
William E. Schmidt, geranium authority and grower in Portola Valley,
California, has called our attention to some errors in the April issue:
"In the article 'The Irresistibles' by Mary Ellen Ross, on page 10,
paragraph 2, last complete line, it lists 'White Cap'. Since Holmes
Miller did not name it for a white cap (head covering), but did name it
for a whitecap (a wave cresting in white foam), the name for this
variety should be one word: 'Whitecap'.
"On page 10, paragraph 4, teh last variety mentioned is 'Vixen'. Much
as I'd like to claim this, it is not my variety, but one of Howard
"Page 21, paragraph 2, of teh Miller article, I listed his recent
introduction 'Urchin', a red-flowered 'Formosa' type. I should have
added that 'Urchin' is a dwarf, with fairly large double, deep red
floweres that open flat."
Thought I might as well quote the whole article as it was short and
newcomers should know how much valuable information is in the back
issues and they are can be ordered.
In the following GATW, it is apparent that William Schmidt was well
acquainted with Mr. Kerrigan.
GATW Vol XXII, Autumn 1974, No. 3
William E. Schmidt is quoted on page 6
"In the fall of 1937 Howard W. Kerrigan came over from Oakland for our
first meeting. He started to collect various plants even before he
graduated from high school in 1932 and by 1937 had a fine selection of
regals. Most of them he acquired from home gardeners and growers by
exchanging cultivars they wanted from him. Consequently Howard knew all
the fanciers in the region and it was from him that I heard about little
known growers who were raising new regals.
Howard Kerrigan had no greenhouse at that time and so besides those
planted in the family's garden, he grew many in various containers.
Early in his career with regals he figured that since they had such a
mixed ancestry (derived from several species) and the cultivars he
collected varied so much, the pollen from any source (bees, etc.) would
result in considerable variation among the seedlings, hopefully in
something good. He therefore picked the open-pollinated seeds from his
best regals in the late 1930's and from those hundreds of seedlings came
his introductions ‘Ballerina', ‘Don Juan', ‘Rhapsody', ‘Stardust',
‘Salmon Splendor' and others.
Later he leased several large greenhouses and crossed named cultivars
under glass. He soon discovered, as I had, that the seed-set under
glass was considerable less than on plants outdoors. We discussed this
several times and Howard believes that the plants set seeds better
outdoors because it is sunnier. I had come to a similar conclusion, but
more specifically believe that the poor seed-set in greenhouses is due
to the exclusion of ultraviolet or possibly other rays by the glass.
Experiments and studies regarding this problem may be of considerable
value to seed production indoors."
Mr. Kerrigan is listed (in my notes) as hybridizing 'Goblin' (1952)
large double scarlet red flowers in good sized clusters above dark
leaves, dwarf and 'Janet Kerrigan' (1966) full double flowers of pale
salmon-pink, mid green zoned foliage, dwarf to miniature in habit. These
So, still hoping for information on 'Vixen' and 'Black Vixen' and hope
someone will recall having them and the difference, and whether 'Black
Vixen' was a sport of 'Vixen' or someone's seedling.