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.
Colutea Frutescens. Scarlet Bladder Senna.
Cal. 5-fidus. Legumen inflatum, basi superiore dehiscens.
COLUTEA frutescens fruticosa, foliolis ovato-oblongis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr, p. 668. Ait. Hort. Kew. V. 3. p. 56. Mill. Icon. 99.
COLUTEA aethiopica, flore purpureo. Breyn. Cent. 70. t. 29.
Of the several species of Colutea cultivated in our garden the one here figured, is distinguished by the brilliancy of its' flowers, the largeness of its pods, and the downy appearance of the under side of its leaves.
It appears from the Hortus Kewensis to have been cultivated by Mr. James Sutherland as long since as the year 1683 it was not however generally introduced to our gardens till the time of Miller, who figured it in his Icones, it was then understood to be an aethiopian plant; Mr. Aiton since describes it as a native of the Cape also; of course, we find it more tender than most of its kindred, and hence it is usually regarded as a greenhouse plant; yet, as it is not destroyed by a small degree of frost, it will frequently, like the myrtle survive a mild winter in the open border, especially if trained to a wall: it is rarely of more than two or three years duration.
It is readily raised from seeds sown in the open ground, plants from which flower the August following, and, in favourable seasons, ripen their seeds; in order, however, that they may ripen them with more certainty, Miller, recommends the sowing them early on a gentle hot-bed.
A dry soil suits this species best.