Dillenia SpeciosaShewy Dillenia
- Class and Order
- Polyandria Polygynia
- Generic Character
- Cal. 5-phyllus. Petala 5. Caps. polyspermæ, connatæ, pulpa repletæ.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- DILLENIA speciosa foliis oblongis rotundato-acutis denticulatis, pedunculis unifloris. Thunb. in Linn. Trans. 1. p. 200
- DILLENIA indica. Linn. Syst Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 507
- SYALITA Malabaris. Rheede Hort. Malab. tom. iii. p. 39. t. 38. 39.
The name of Dillenia was given by Linnæus to this genus of plants, in honour of John James Dillenius, Professor of Botany at Oxford, and the celebrated author of the Hist. Muscorum, Hort. Elthamensis, &c.
Until the publication of the first volume of the Linnean Transactions, only one species of Dillenia was generally known; in that work Prof. Thunberg minutely describes five others, three of which are there figured; all these, and one more described by Dr. Roxburgh in his work on the Coromandel plants, are inserted by Prof. Martyn in his new and highly improved edition of Miller's Dictionary.
The present species, which now loses its name of indica in that of speciosa, and which though not enumerated in the Hort. Kew. has many years been cultivated at Kew, and in the stoves of the curious near town, is a native of Malabar and Java; in its native soil it becomes a vast tree, here we rarely see it more than two or three feet high; its flowers are large and shewy, but quickly deciduous, and remarkable for the unpleasantness of their scent, which is like that of the Lycium japonicum, but not being readily exhaled does not infect the air of the stove.
This species is increased without difficulty by cuttings, which quickly produce flowering plants.