This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Kalmia Hirsuta. Hairy Kalmia.
Calyx 5-partitus. Corolla hypocrateriformis: limbo subtus quinquecorni Caps. 5-locularis.
KALMIA hirsuta foliis ovato-lanceolatis hirsutis sparsis, floribus racemosis.
This new species of Kalmia which we have called hirsuta, the stalk, leaves, and calyx, being covered with strong hairs, was imported from Carolina in the Spring of 1790, by Mr. Watson, Nurseryman at Islington, with whom several plants of it flowered this present Autumn, about the middle of September, from one of which our drawing was made.
The plants were brought over with their roots enclosed in balls of the earth in which they naturally grew, which on being examined appeared of a blackish colour, and full of glittering particles of sand; similar indeed to the bog-earth which we find on our moors and heaths; there is therefore little doubt (for no account accompanied the plants) but this Kalmia grows on moorish heaths, or in swamps.
In its general appearance it bears some resemblance to the Andromeda Daboecii; from the specimens we have seen its usual height would appear to be from two to three feet; it grows upright; the flowers which are about the size of those of the Kalmia glauca, are of a purple colour, and contrary to all the other known Kalmia's grow in racemi.
It is propagated by layers, and requires the same treatment as the rest of the genus, that is, to be planted in bog-earth, on a north border: as this however is a new, and of course a dear plant, it will be most prudent till we know what degree of cold it will bear, to keep it in a pot of the same earth, plunged in the same situation, which may be removed in the Winter to a green-house or hot-bed frame.