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.
Agrostemma coronaria. Rose Cockle, or Campion.
Calyx 1-phyllus, coriaceus. Petala 5 unguiculata: limbo obtuso, indiviso.
AGROSTEMMA coronaria tomentosa, foliis ovato-lanceolatis, petalis emarginatis coronatis serratis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 435. Sp. Pl. p.
LYCHNIS coronaria dioscoridis sativa. Bauh. Pin. 203. The single red Rose Campion. Parkins. Parad. p. 252.
Grows spontaneously in Italy and Siberia; Linnaeus informs us that the blossom is naturally white, with red in the middle.
"The single Rose Campion has been long an inhabitant of the English gardens, where, by its seeds having scattered, it is become a kind of weed. There are three varieties of this plant, one with deep red, another with flesh-coloured, and a third with white flowers, but these are of small esteem, for the double Rose Campion being a finer flower, has turned the others out of most fine gardens. The single sorts propagate fast enough by the seeds, the sort with double flowers never produces any, so is only propagated by parting of the roots; the best time for this is in autumn, after their flowers are past; in doing of this, every head which can be slipped off with roots should be parted; these should be planted in a border of fresh undunged earth, at the distance of six inches, observing to water them gently until they have taken root, after which they will require no more, for much wet is injurious to them, as is also dung. After the heads are well rooted, they should be planted into the borders of the Flower-Garden, where they will be very ornamental during the times of their flowering, which is in July and August." Miller's Gard. Dict. ed. 6. 4to.
Miller, by mistake, calls this plant Caelirosa.