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.
Chironia frutescens. Shrubby Chironia.
Cor. rotata. Pistillum declinatum. Stamina tubo corollae infidentia. Antherae demum spirales. Peric. 2-loculare.
CHIRONIA frutescens, foliis lanceolatis subtomentosis, calycibus campanulatis. Lin. Syst. Vegetab. p. 229.
CENTAURIUM foliis binis oppositis angustis linearibus, flore magno rubente. Burm. Afric. 205. t. 74. fig. 1.
Of the genus Chironia, ten species are enumerated in Prof. Murray's last edition of the Syst. Vegetab. of Linnaeus, exclusive of the Chironia Centaurium which we first added to this genus in the 42d number of the Flora Londinensis.
Of these, the frutescens is the most shewy, and therefore the most cultivated.
It is a native of different parts of Africa.
The flowers are produced from June to autumn, and the seeds ripen in October. This plant should be placed in an airy glass case in winter, where it may enjoy a dry air, and much sun, but will not thrive in a warm stove, nor can it be well preserved in a common greenhouse, because a damp moist air will soon cause it to rot.
The seed of this plant should be sown in small pots filled with light sandy earth, and plunged into a moderate hot-bed; sometimes the seeds will lie a long time in the ground; so that if the plants do not appear the same season, the pots should not be disturbed, but preserved in shelter till the following spring, and then plunged into a fresh hot-bed, which will bring up the plants in a short time if the seeds are good. When the plants are fit to remove, they should be transplanted into small pots, four or five in each pot, then plunged into a moderate hot-bed, where they must have a large share of air in warm weather; when they have obtained some strength, they must be gradually inured to the open air; when exposed abroad, they should be mixed with such plants as require little water, placed in a warm situation, and screened from heavy rains, which are apt to rot them. The cuttings of this sort take root if properly managed. Miller's Gard. Dict.