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.
Coronilla Valentina. Rue-leaved Coronilla.
Cal. 2-labiatus: 2/3: dentibus superioribus connatis. Vexillum vix alis longius. Legumen isthmis interceptum.
CORONILLA valentina fruticosa, foliolis subnovenis, stipulis suborbiculatis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 669. Ait. Hort. Kew. V. 3. p. 58.
POLYGALA valentina. Clus. hist. pl. rar. p. 98. fig. inf.
The Coronilla valentina comes very near to the glauca already figured in this work, but may be distinguished by a little attention; the valentina has smaller leaves, which are more numerous, and more truly glaucous; the stipulae, which in the glauca are small, narrow, and pointed, in the valentina are large, and almost round, and in the young plant are strikingly conspicuous; as the plant comes into flower, they drop off; the valentina is not so much disposed to flower the year through as the glauca, but produces its blossoms chiefly in May, June, and July; the flowers of the glauca are observed to smell more strongly in the day-time, those of the valentina at all times diffuse a very powerful odour, so as even to scent a small greenhouse; we have often been amused with hearing the different opinions entertained of this smell, some speaking of it in terms of rapture, others ready to faint when they approach it: the flowers of the valentina are more disposed to produce seed-vessels than those of the glauca, the seeds of which usually ripen well, and afford the means of increasing the plant most readily. To have a succession of small handsome bushy plants for the greenhouse, the old ones must either be frequently cut down, or young ones raised from seed, or cuttings, the stems as they grow up becoming naked at bottom.
It is a hardy greenhouse plant, and may be kept well enough through the winter in a common hot-bed frame, or planted against a south wall, and matted as myrtles usually are in such situations; we have known the glauca, treated in prove a charming ornament.
It is a native of Spain, growing, as Clusius informs us, by road-sides, in sandy places, and on the declivities of hills.
Cultivated here in 1656, by J. Tradescant, jun. H. K.