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.
Turnera Angustifolia. Narrow-LeavED Turnera
Cal. 5-fidus, infundibuliformis, exterior 2-phyllus. Petala 5 calyci inserta. Stigmata multifida. Caps. 1-locularis, 3-valvis.
TURNERA angustifolia floribus sessilibus petiolaribus, foliis lanceolatis rugosis acuminatis. Mill. Dict. ed. 6. 4to.
TURNERA frutescens folio longiore et mucronato. Mart. Cent. 49. t. 49.
This plant here represented is generally known to the Nurserymen about London as the Turnera ulmifolia, or Elm-leaved Turnera, its foliage however does not answer to the name, nor to the figures of the plant as given by Martyn in his Cent. Pl. and Linnaeus in his Hortus Cliffortianus, which figures indeed are so similar that they look like copies of each other, these represent the true elm leaf; on the same plate of Martyn's Cent. there is given a very excellent figure of what he considers as another species of Turnera, vide Synon. and which Miller, who cultivated it about the year 1773, also describes as a distinct species, under the name of angustifolia, asserting, from the experience of thirty years, that plants raised from its seeds have constantly differed from those of the ulmifolia; this is our plant, which on his authority we have given as a species, though Linnaeus regards it as a variety.
Plumier gave to this genus the name of Turnera, in honour of Dr. William Turner, a celebrated English Botanist and Physician, who published an Herbal, black letter, folio, in 1568.
The present species is a native of the West-Indies, and is commonly cultivated in our stoves, where it rises with a semi-shrubby stalk, to the height of several feet, seldom continuing more than two or three years; young plants generally come up in plenty from seeds spontaneously scattered, so that a succession is easily obtained.
It flowers from June to August.
Its foliage has a disagreeable smell when bruised; its flowers are shewy, but of short duration, and are remarkable for growing out of the footstalk of the leaf.