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.
Azalea Nudiflora var. Coccinea. Scarlet Azalea.
Cor. campanulata. Stamina receptaculo inferta. Caps. 1-locularis.
AZALEA nudiflora foliis ovatis, corollis pilosis, staminibus longissimis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 198. Ait. Hort. Kew. V. 1. p. 202.
CISTUS virginiana, periclymeni flore ampliori minus odorato. Pluck. Mant. 49.
Whether the variety of the Azalea nudiflora here figured, was originally introduced to this country by Mrs. Norman of Bromley in Kent, or Mr. Bewick of Clapham in Surrey (both celebrated for their collections of American plants) we cannot with certainty assert; true it is, the Azalea coccinea was little known here till the sale of Mr. Bewick's plant in 1722; a considerable number of these shrubs formed the choicest part of that collection, and sold at high prices, one of them produced twenty guineas: prior to this period, Mr. Bewick had presented one of the same sort of shrubs to Mr. Thoburn, the fruits of whose skill and assiduous care in the cultivation of American plants are apparent in his late nursery at Brompton, now Mr. Whitley's, and from the produce of which plant our figure was taken.
The original species, found abundantly in the more southern parts of North-America, was introduced, according to Mr. Aiton's account, by Peter Collinson, Esq. about the year 1724.
The brilliancy of colour and a happy combination of form, unite in rendering the variety here figured, one of the most beautiful plants in nature: yet it wants the fragrance of some of the varieties of the viscosa.
It flowers in June and continues in blossom about three weeks, requires a sheltered but not too shady a situation, more dry than moist, and a soil composed of loam and bog earth, or rotten leaves.
The usual mode of propagating it is by layers; care must be taken not to remove the offspring too soon from the mother plant.