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.
Glycine Bimaculata. Purple Glycine
Cal. 2-labiatus. Corollae carina apice vexillum reflectens.
GLYCINE bimaculata caule volubili laevi, foliis simplicibus cordato-oblongis, racemis multifloris.
Of the many plants which within these few years have been raised from Botany-Bay seeds, this is one of the first which flowered in this country, and one of the most ornamental; to the greenhouse it is indeed an invaluable acquisition: we regret that the size of our paper and the imperfection of the colouring art, will not admit of our giving a representation of it more adequate to its beauty.
It rises up with a twining shrubby stalk to the height of six, eight, or more feet; these multiplying greatly by age, become loaded with a profusion of purple flowers, growing in racemi, the richness of which is enlivened by the appearance of two green spots at the base of the vexillum; for the most part the blossoms go off with us without producing any seed-vessels; in some instances, however, perfect seeds have been produced, and we have seen a plant in bloom raised from such in the charming retreat of John Ord, Esq. Walham-Green.
A great excellence of this plant is the duration of its flowering period, it begins to put forth its blossoms in February, and continues to do so during most of the summer.
In the Nurseries about town, it is known by the name of Glycine virens, a name given the plant originally by Dr. Solander; the latter of these terms we have taken the liberty of changing to bimaculata, as being more expressive of an obvious character in the flower: we might, perhaps, been justified in altering the genus, as its characters do not appear to be peculiarly expressive of a Glycine, nor indeed of any other genus in this numerous natural order.
It is raised readily from seeds.
We think it highly probable, that in warm sheltered situations, this climber might grow in the open ground; to such as have it in abundance, we recommend them to make the experiment.