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.
Polygonum Orientale. Tall Persicaria.
Cal. 0. Cor. 5-partita, calycina. Sem. 1. angulatum.
POLYGONUM orientale floribus heptandris digynis, foliis ovatis, caule erecto, stipulis hirtis hypocrateriformibus. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 377. Ait. Hort. Kew. V. 2. p. 32.
PERSICARIA orientalis nicotianae folio calyce florum purpureo. Tournef. cor. 38. Schovanna-modelamuccu. Rheed. Mal. 12. p. 147. t. 76.
Of the genus Polygonum, the present well-known native of the East, as well as of India, is the principal one cultivated in our gardens for ornament, and is distinguished not less for its superior stature than the brilliancy of its flowers; it will frequently grow to the height of eight or ten feet, and become a formidable rival to the gigantic sun-flower.
There is a dwarf variety of it, and another with white flowers; it has been observed to vary also in point of hairiness.
It flowers from July to October, and produces abundance of seed, which, falling on the borders, generally comes up spontaneously in the spring; but it is most commonly sown in the spring with other annuals: when the seedlings appear, they should be thinned so as to stand a foot apart. This plant requires very little care, and will bear the smoke of London better than many others.
Was cultivated by the Dutchess of Beaufort, in 1707. Ait. Kew.
The Stipulae on the stalk are deserving of notice, being unusual in their form, and making it look as if beruffled.