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.
Metrosideros Citrina. Harsh-LeavED Metrosideros
Cal. 5-dentatus, sinu germen fovens. Petala 5, caduca. Stam. discreta, petalis multoties longiora. Caps. 3-4 locularis, polysperma. Banks. Gaertner.
METROSIDEROS citrina foliis lineari-lanceolatis rigentibus.
Though many species of this genus have been raised from seeds, brought within these few years from the South Seas, where they are said to be very numerous; this is, we believe, the only one that as yet has flowered in this country: our drawing was made from a plant which blossomed toward the close of last summer at Lord Cremornes, the root of which had been sent from Botany-Bay; previous to this period we have been informed, that the same species flowered both at Kew and Sion-House: as it is without difficulty raised both from seeds and cuttings, young plants of it are to be seen in most of the Nurseries near town; it would seem that they do not flower till they are at least five or six years old.
Metrosideros is a name given originally by Rumphius in Herb. Amboin to some plants of this genus, the term applies to the hardness of their wood, which by the Dutch is called Yzerhout (Ironwood): Forster in his Gen. Pl. figures this and another genus on the same plate, under the name of Leptospermum; Schreber in his edition of the Gen. Pl. of Linnaeus, unites Metrosideros, Melaleuca, Leptospermum, and Fabricia, under the genus Melaleuca; Gaertner in his elaborate work on the seeds of plants, makes separate genera of these, agreeably to the ideas of Sir Joseph Banks and Mr. Dryander, who on this subject can certainly boast the best information.
We cannot, without transgressing the allotted limits of our letter-press, give a minute description of the plant figured; suffice it to say, that it is an ever-green shrub, growing to the height of from four to six or more feet, that its leaves on the old wood feel very harsh or rigid to the touch, and when bruised give forth an agreeable fragrance, the flowers grow in spikes on the tops of the branches, and owe their beauty wholly to the brilliant colour of the filaments.