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.
Dianthus chinensis. China or Indian Pink.
Calyx cylindricus, 1-phyllus: basi squamis 4. Petala 5, unguiculata.
Capsula cylindrica, 1-locularis.
DIANTHUS chinensis floribus solitariis, squamis calycinis subulatis patulis, tubum aequantibus, corollis crenatis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 418. Sp. Pl. 588.
CARYOPHYLLUS sinensis supinus, leucoji folio, flore unico. Tournef. act. 1705. p. 348. f. 5.
This species, unknown to the older botanists, is a native of China, hence its name of China Pink; but, in the nurseries, it is in general better known by the name of Indian Pink.
Though it cannot boast the agreeable scent of many of its congeners, it eclipses most of them in the brilliancy of its colours; there are few flowers indeed which can boast that richness and variety found among the most improved varieties of this species; and as these are easily obtained from seed, so they are found in most collections, both single and double.
It is little better than an annual, but will sometimes continue two years in a dry soil, which it affects.
Attempts have been made to force it, but, as far as we have learned, with no great success.