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.
Lychnis Coronata. Chinese Lychnis
Cal. 1-phyllus, oblongus, laevis. Petala 5, unguiculata: Limbo sub-bifido. Caps. 5-locularis.
LYCHNIS coronata glabra, floribus axillaribus terminalibusque solitariis, petalis laciniatis. Thunb. Japon. p. 187. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 435. Ait. Kew. V. 1. p. 117.
LYCHNIS grandiflora floribus axillaribus terminalibusque folitariis, petalis inaequaliter crenatis. Jacq. Collect. V. 1. p. 149. Icon. V. 1.
JAPONICE sen sjun ra, vulgo Ganpi. Kempf. Amaen. Exot. Fasc. V. p. 873.
The rich and elegant blossoms of this Chinese or Japanese beauty, possess a flatness and stiffness, which gives them an artificial air, to which their colour, which is exactly that of common red lead, may perhaps somewhat contribute; they make their appearance towards the close of the summer, and as many (when the plant is in health and vigour) are produced on the same stem, they continue a considerable time in bloom; its root is perennial, and its stem, which rises to the height of about two feet, herbaceous.
We remember to have seen this plant in the collection of the late Dr. Fothergill at Upton, about the year 1774, by whom it was first introduced to this country: Kaempfer, the celebrated Dutch traveller, who saw it growing in Japan, gives a very short description of it in his Amaenitates exoticae, and mentions a variety of it with white flowers: Professor Thunberg, who saw it also in its wild state, as well as in the gardens of that country, confines himself to describing the plant more at large: Professor Jacquin, in his Icones, has given an admirable figure of it.
Persons here differ in their mode of cultivating this species of Lychnis, some treating it as a stove others as a greenhouse and others as a hardy herbaceous plant; the latter mode is to be preferred, provided care be taken to plant it in a sheltered situation, and to guard it against the inclemency of particular seasons; it is propagated by parting its roots, also by slips, and cuttings, but in this business more than ordinary care is required to be successful.