Portlandia GrandifloraGreat-Flowered Portlandia
- Class and Order
- Pentandria Monogynia
- Generic Character
- Cor. clavato-infundibuliformis. Antheræ 4-6. longitudinales. Caps. 5-gona, 2-valvis, retusa, 2-locularis, polysperma, coronata calyce 5-phyllo.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- PORTLANDIA grandiflora floribus pentandris. Linn. Syst. Veg. ed. 14. Murr. p. 213. Ait. Kew. v. 1. p. 228. foliis ovatis. Syst. Nat. ed. 13. Gmel. p. 360
- PORTLANDIA grandiflora floribus pentandris, capsulis ovatis, foliis oblongis acuminatis. Swartz. Obs. Bot. p. 69.
Dr. Brown, in his Natural History of Jamaica, gives to this genus the name of Portlandia, in honour of the Duchess Dowager of Portland, who employed many of the leisure hours of a long and happy life, in the pursuits of natural history, in which she was eminently skilled.—She was the friend and patron of Mr. Lightfoot, who dedicates to her his Flora Scotica; the fine collection of rare and valuable trees and shrubs which enrich part of the grounds at Bulstrode, were of her planting.
Dr. Swartz, in his Observations on the Plants of the West-Indies, informs us, that this species grows wild in Jamaica, where (incolit calcareosa petrosa) it inhabits calcareous rocky places, forms a small tree about the height of six feet, and flowers from the middle of Summer to Autumn; its bark, he observes, as in other plants of the same genus, is extremely bitter.
From Mr. Aiton we learn, that it was introduced here by —— Ellis, Esq. in 1775.
It forms a very beautiful stove plant, not of difficult growth, and readily disposed to flower; we have seen blowing plants of it little more than a foot high; its blossoms are not only uncommonly large, shewy, and curious in their structure, but fragrant also, and very much so when dried.
It is usually increased by cuttings.